Monday, July 23, 2012

Find Your Favorite Food Staples, Develop a Routine, and Be Adventurous!

Image courtesy of Click/morguefile.com

Sorry I haven't posted recently, but please be confident that even so doesn't mean I'm not still a bona-fide weight watcher! I recently hit a new low weight for me, having lost a total of 34.5 pounds on WW. I'm very close to my newest goal weight and confident I'll reach this weight soon. In fact, I've canceled my online subscription for August, but I'll continue tracking manually. I'm sure I'll still be checking into the WW site occasionally since I'll have that available to me, but I feel I have the tools I need right in my kitchen and purse!

It's been 7 months of eating the Weight Watchers way and it's inherent now for me to shop smart, measure portions and stop before I've gotten out of control. I've been able to enjoy special events with family, accept dinner invitations and watch a movie with popcorn (no butter!).

Much of my success on Weight Watchers is that I have a shopping routine at the grocery store and have discovered many "favorites" that I buy weekly to keep me on target.I imagine I will continue this practice forever, modifying from time to time, adding new "favorites" which have low enough point values to make it into my kitchen.

My Pantry Staples

Everyone likes different foods, which is the best thing about Weight Watchers because you can build your own "favorites" that fit into the program point guidelines. I shop weekly and replenish my food stock with my favorites each week. My refrigerator and pantry usually include:

Fruits and vegetables, depending on the season:
  • Watermelon
  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Bell Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
 Dairy and Frozen Food
  • Frozen hash browns (for my crockpot potato soup) (3.5 pts per cup serving)
  • Frozen broccoli
  • Low fat cream cheese (for soups and WW Spinach Artichoke dip)
  • Fat free sour Cream (basically a free food)
  •  Frozen green beans
  • 2% fat grated cheddar cheese (2 pts for 1/4 cup)
  • Low fat parmesan cheese(1.5% fat- I don't even adds pts for this type)
  • Low fat plain Greek Yogurt (for dips and cooking)
  • Carbmaster or Yoplait fruit flavored yogurt (2 pts per 6 oz. carton)
  • Fat free frozen dairy topping (such as Cool Whip) (0 pts)
  • Chicken breasts 
  • Snack sized flour tortillas (there are brands that are 2 pts each - Mission Low carb for one)
 Pantry
  • 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
  • Rosarita fat free refried feans (2 pts for 1/2 cup)
  • Special K Cracker Chips (3 pts per 27 - 30 chips)
  • Rold Gold Pretzel Sticks (3 pts for 53 pretzels)
  • Baked Tostitos corn chips
  • Wasa Crisp'n Light Crackerbread
  • Quaker Chewy Granola Bars (3 pts)
  • Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies (2 pts)
  • Pop Weaver Light butter popcorn (6 pts for the whole bag) 
  • Del Monte No Sugar Added canned fruit cocktail or peaches (For Fruit Salad mixed with Cool Whip) (0 pts)
  • Salsa
Of course, I buy other items from time to time, but I always calculate points right at the grocery store with my handheld calculator! (When I get an iPhone I will use their cool scanning app.)

The biggest tip I can give you in regard to picking foods on Weight Watchers is for you to find the lowest point value foods for things you like. You HAVE to eat and there's no reason to feel that you can only eat salads or a chicken breast. Experiment, look for recipes, and always figure out the point value so you'll know how much you can eat at a sitting.  It's really that simple!

After 7 months on Weight Watchers, I can't imagine going back to my old bad habits even after I hit my goal weight, but if I slip and gain more than 2 pounds, I know what to do to regain control. THAT feels great to me...and no longer do I feel afraid of food or guilty about eating.  I look at each day as a new 24-hour period to make good food choices and use up all my points. Every shopping trip is an adventure for me to discover a new low-point food option!

It's nice to have a plan, isn't it? Thanks Weight Watchers!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Weekly Weigh-in Update: Lost 2 pounds!

32.6 pounds lighter thanks to Weight Watchers!
I was a bit unsure what the scale would tell me this week.  After-all, my granddaughter had just gone home after nine days with me, while her Mom and Dad were on their Alaskan Cruise. Occasionally, I was tempted by foods she was eating and went into my bonus points almost daily.  However, I did stay within my weekly allowances so I was hopeful I hadn't gained.

Imagine my surprise when I stepped on that scale and discovered that I'd lost 2 pounds!

I should have expected it from another perspective, however. Yesterday I pulled out a dusty box of jeans that my oldest daughter had given me after losing weight a while back after her divorce. At the time, I remember looking through her 'too big' jeans, and thinking, "Right...I'll never fit into those jeans!" I couldn't even get them past my thighs!

Recently she asked me if I had tried on her old jeans yet, which I hadn't.  So yesterday I got them out, still doubting they'd fit....but they did!  One by one I held up a pair and thought, no way.....but got them over my thighs, zipped them up and admired how they fit on my slimmer body in the mirror.

A lower number on the scale is very encouraging, but fitting into those jeans did wonders for my resolve! My weight today was only 1/2 pound from goal, but I'm not done.  I lowered it another 5 pounds, and when I hit that number, I will probably lower it again.

I'm so happy! I had decided that this time I would be in no hurry to lose those unhealthy pounds but that once I did, I wanted to KEEP THEM OFF! I hoped that Weight Watchers would be the answer and I'm feeling hopeful it is! I've developed new habits and realize I can now stay in control, even during special situations.

Thank you Weight Watchers!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Weight Watchers: Beware of Red Robin and Plan Ahead!

 
My youngest granddaughter is spending a week with me while my daughter and her husband celebrate their anniversary on an Alaskan cruise.  It seemed appropriate to eat out tonight as a treat to her, so we chose Red Robin, where  my older granddaughter works.

I forgot to check the nutritional info before I left (my bad), so I chose their "Simply Grilled Chicken Sandwich and switched the bun for the cibatta bun. I added a little ranch, catsup and mustard. Instead of fries, I chose the fruit bowl (they call it freckled fruit salad) and ate 5 Steak fries off Kenzie's meal.   I calculated total points for my meal at 10.  After looking at some of the other meal choices I considered, I think I deserve an A for selection! (However, the cibatta bun added fat grams, so I guess I should have stuck with their menu bun!)

Other meals I considered:

Whiskey River Wrap: Leaving off the fries, it would have been 1064 calories, 64 grams of fat, 71 grams of carbs, 48 grams protein and 3 grams of fiber. Grand total =  28 Pts!

Baja Turkey Club: Fully loaded per the menu it would have been 734 calories, 47 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbs, 46 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber. Grand total = 19 Pts!

California Chicken Sandwich: Leaving off the guacamole and mayo, it has 597 calories, 22 grams of fat, 51 grams of carbs, 48 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber. Grand total = 15 Pts! (This wouldn't have been too bad of a second choice)


Yikes! Thank goodness I chose the Simply Grilled Chicken Sandwich!

If you like to visit Red Robin with your family, be sure to plan your meal ahead of time or you may be in for an unpleasant surprise when you calculate the points afterward.  A link to The Red Robin nutritional calculator is below


Red Robin Meal Customizer

Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Feast in Cave Creek Arizona

That's me on the left with my BFF

I've said many times before how much I appreciate that I can follow Weight Watcher's guidelines and still enjoy my life.  To that message, I wanted to share an article with my blog  followers so I can prove this to you! I wrote the article after celebrating my BFF's birthday with a shopping trip that ended in lunch in the rustic, quaint town just north of Phoenix, Cave Creek, Arizona.
Goat Milk Soaps is just one shop you can visit in Cave Creek

 We had fun and the food was delicious! The best part? I stayed within my weekly points allowance and still lost weight that week after sharing this "Smokehouse Platter" with her.
Hard to believe, huh? I kept my head and didn't overdo my portions (we split the leftovers and took a bunch of food home!), plus I wouldn't do it every week, but it's nice every once in a while to bust out of the diet routine! I was right back on the plan next day.

For more pictures of Cave Creek and our fun, check out my article at HubPages.  Start here:

Tour of Cave Creek, Arizona


 

Cave Creek is a small town full of Arizona's Western history and ambiance, and just a short 30-minute drive Northeast of Phoenix, As you reach the town limits, you'll think you've gone back in time to the Wild West. You almost expect to see two outlaws shoot it out at the O.K. Corral at any given moment! Warning to visitors: Be sure to slow down or you might meet up with the Sheriff!

Cave Creek Road is lined with quaint shops filled with eclectic and rustic furniture and decor, each item an imperfect treasure full of character and charm. If you are an art lover, look for the galleries which offer paintings and sculptures. There are also lots of restaurants serving delicious food, some with sawdust on the floor and mason jars on the table.

During the week-end nights you'll find the town bustling with a variety of party-animals; twenty-somethings doing shots at an outdoor bar in shorts and flips flops, Harley bikers in leather and bandanas, and cowboys in wranglers and boots.
If you visit Phoenix, be sure to save an afternoon or evening to visit the Town of Cave Creek. It will be worth the gas to experience this small Arizona town in the Southwestern desert. Be sure to take your camera!

For more pictures of Cave Creek and my article, continue here: "Tour of Cave Creek, Arizona"

Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekly Weigh-in Update: Lost a Pound

I'm happy to report that I finally hit a milestone with my weight loss....thirty pounds! I lost 1 pound this past week in spite of another celebration: My granddaughter's High School graduation and the after-party. 

I made meatballs and marinara in the crock pot for meatball subs.  The meatballs were pre-cooked and the marinara was in a jar, so I cheated in cooking effort, but stayed within my daily/weekly allotment...and lost weight!

The sandwich was 12 points, which may not seem low in points, except that it was a very large and satisfying meal! The 4-inch hoagie was 5 pts, and 6 meatballs were 7 pts. I served melon and a salad, plus a Jello Poke Cake (using sugar free Jello) of which a 1/12 serving was 7.5 pts (but I  had a 1/2 piece and sent the leftover cake with my granddaughter). 

All in all, I indulged in the celebration and used 16 of my daily points.My life hasn't stopped because I am a Weight Watcher...it's only gotten better!

Thanks Weight Watchers!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

TopChips - Microwave Chip Maker


I saw an advertisement on TV this week for "TopChips", a product made by Mastrad that I think would work great for those of us watching their fat and calories, i.e. points, in their diet. It jogged my memory of watching an episode of Dr. Oz that showed it in action too. 

TopChips includes a slicer on which you slice vegetables, and a cooking tray that cooks them into "chips" in 3 to 6 minutes....all without oil!

I'm considering buying this product and thought I'd share this idea. If you have one, please give us the scoop on your experience with it.  I hope it works!

Here's the link to this product:
TopChips by Mastrad

Update 6/15/2012:  I have used the TopChips tray several times and like it.  I'm still getting the cooking times down, but think it will be a useful tool for me.  The vegetables shrink during cooking, and you don't get a huge serving with one batch, so you'll want to plan to make several.

I've tried carrots, zucchini and apples so far....the carrots came out crunchy, but the apples were closer to the dehydrated kind you buy in the bag...I couldn't seem to get them crispy. (but they were still good to snack on!) Today I made the Zucchini chips and they came out pretty good, although they weren't  crispy after 3 minutes. Next time I'll add 30 seconds to see if they turn out better.  I love the slicer...it makes very nice, thin slices....be careful of that blade though...it's sharp!

Hints:
Slice smaller vegetables like carrots on a diagonal so they are larger.
Season lightly and after cooking....I've made mine a bit too salty by seasoning raw.
For the zucchini chips, try seasoning with Land'O'Lakes Parmesan Herb seasoning.

Carrots Chips
Cut carrots and zucchini into a diagonal for larger chips


Zucchini Chips (This is one medium sized zucchini)


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekly Weigh-in Update: Minimal Weight Loss but Huge Loss in Inches!

I had a celebratory week last week (two birthdays and a graduation) so was a little worried about my weigh-in this past week, even though I stayed within my weekly bonus allotment. (I only had 18 of my weekly bonus points left on Thursday night and that is the most I've used to date).

So, I was elated when I stepped on the scale Friday morning because I hadn't gained weight, but actually lost 3 ounces! I am thrilled to have found a weight loss program that allows me to participate in the special life events that happen around me.  Sure, 3 ounces isn't anything to write home about, but I maintained my weight loss trend this week, without skipping parties or feeling deprived.

Additionally, I updated my measurements this week and discovered that I've lost a total of 21 inches since I took my measurements January 13th! I've lost 1 1/2 inches around my arms, 2 1/2 around my hips, 3 1/2 around my thighs, 4 inches in the bust-line,  and....big drum roll... 5 1/2 inches around my waist! I was amazed at these results.  Now I know why I'm fitting into clothes I never dreamed I would be able to wear again!

I'm into a new week and moving forward feeling positive that I'll reach my goal which is only 15 pounds away! Thanks Weight Watchers!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup for Weight Watchers

If you need a quick, low point lunch or dinner , try making this easy  chicken noodle soup.  It's tasty and the cream of chicken soup adds a satisfying creaminess to the broth. Sometimes I make it when I have leftover cooked spaghetti or noodles, or cooked chicken breast, which saves several steps:

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Makes 8 - 1 cup servings
WW pts+ per serving: 3

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup frozen Peas and Carrots
  • 1/2 cup uncooked celery, sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can low-fat cream of chicken soup
  • 1 teas. garlic salt
  • 1/8 teas. black pepper
  • 1 cup sliced chicken breast
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 oz. noodles (1/2 of 12 oz box or 3 cups cooked)
Directions:
  • Add large chicken breast or 4-5 chicken tenders to 2 cups water and simmer until tender.  
  • Remove chicken from pan and cube.
  • Add 4 additional cups of water  to broth in pot and bring to boil. (if using leftover chicken add 5 teaspoons chicken bouillon to water)
  • Add noodles, soup, celery, onion, peas and carrots and cook 5 minutes.
  • Return cubed, cooked chicken back to pot. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer on low for 15 - 20 minutes until veggies and noodles are done (not mushy).
Enjoy!

Ramen Noodle Cabbage Salad Light for Weight Watchers

Yesterday I went to a girls-only poolside party at a friend's home.  I was asked to bring a salad since she knew I was being diligent about my food choices.  I immediately thought of a favorite warm weather salad that I love - Ramen Noodle Cabbage Salad!  As soon as I thought of this side dish, I almost decided it was not a good choice because of the dressing and Ramen noodles. (Did you know that a bowl of packaged ramen noodles is 10 points?)

However, it sounded so good I moved forward. I have been determined to learn ways to eat the foods I love within the Weight Watcher's guidelines, so I found several recipes online and developed a "lighter" version of this tasty salad.  The changes I made involved less oil, sugar substitute and leaving out the seasonings from the package (which some recipes call for and adds 2 pts).  The best part is that it didn't taste any different to me and was a hit with my non-dieting BFFs.  Here's it is:

Ramen Noodle Cabbage Salad Light

Makes 6 large servings (approx 1 1/2 - 2 cups)
WW points+: 5

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 head medium cabbage, shredded (or cole slaw mix)
  • 1-2 tender celery stalks (pieces) sliced thinly
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 oz. sliced almonds
  • 2-3 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 uncooked package chicken Ramen noodle mix (without the seasonings), crumbled
Dressing:
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 5 teas. baking sugar substitute (such as Splenda)
  • 1 teas. low sodium soy sodium
 Directions:
  •  Mix cabbage, onions, carrots together in large bowl. 
  • Make Dressing -  In separate small bowl mix oil, vinegar, soy sauce and sugar substitute. Stir and refrigerate.
  • 1/2 hour before serving, add almonds, sesame seeds and crumbled dry Ramen noodles (without the seasoning packet) to salad and mix thoroughly.  Pour dressing mixture over salad and stir again. 
  • Refrigerate 1/2 to 1 hour and serve
Note: The Ramen noodles will soften after a few hours, so leftovers won't have the crunch like the salad did when fresh, however, that doesn't stop anyone from finishing them off!  :)



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Almost All Veggie Spaghetti Sauce for Weight Watchers

I called this my "almost" all veggie spaghetti sauce because it is made primarily with veggies but does have a small portion of ground beef for flavor. I cheat a bit by starting with one of my favorite store bought marinara sauces and doctor it up with the fresh veggies.  It's tasty and easy to make too!

Makes 10 - 1/2 cup servings
WW Points Plus Value per serving: 2

Ingredients:
  •  6 ounces ground beef (or turkey), browned (I keep cooked portions frozen in a freezer bag.)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small eggplant, cubed
  • 1 - 26 ounce jar of low point marinara (the one I used has 1.5g fat, 13g carbs, 3g fiber, 2g protein)
  • Optional: Mushrooms
Directions:
  • Brown ground beef and drain off any remaining oil, or use precooked from your freezer
  • Spray skillet with olive oil
  • Saute onion and green pepper
 Add eggplant, stir into onions and peppers and cook additional 5 minutes, covered.
Add ground beef and spaghetti sauce. Simmer 15-20 minutes, adding a little water if it gets too thick



Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Food Discovery: Sara Lee 45 Calories and Delightful Bread


Even though I don't eat a lot of bread, I made a terrific discovery on my last grocery shopping trip:  Sara Lee has a bread that tastes great and is only 2 points for 2 slices of bread!

Sara Lee offers their "45 Calories and Delightful" brand in white, wheat, whole wheat and multi-grain.  Be sure to run the calculations because I found that a serving of whole wheat came out to 2 points (2 slices) while the multi-grain was 3 points.  Either way, it is quite the point bargain for 2 slices of bread!

Now I can make my big fat turkey sandwich (2 slices of bread, 3 ounces of turkey breast, low-fat mayo, low fat cheese, green pepper slices, tomato and lettuce for 5 points!

Sara Lee's 45 Calories and Delightful bread is very light and fluffy in texture, and tastes great too. Score!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lunch at Sweet Tomatoes Restaurant

Image courtesy of Maderibeyza/morguefile.com
Today I made the mistake of having lunch with my daughter at Sweet Tomatoes without doing my homework ahead of time.  Our lunch was for her birthday, so she chose one of our favorite restaurants, and the choice was made spontaneously after shopping. It did sound good to me too, since I hadn't eaten there in quite a while!

When I got home with their nutritional guide, I began adding my points to my tracker and once I was done I was disheartened that I had only 7 points left for the rest of the day, and it was only 2:00 PM.  Yikes!

Here's how I used up my points so fast:

1 cup Wonton Chicken Happiness Salad = 4 points
1/2 cup Joan's Broccoli Madness Salad = 5 points
2/3 cup Four cheese Alfredo = 4 points
1/2 cup Steamed Veggies with Lemon Herb butter = 2 points
1 cup Smokey Pinto and Brown Rice Soup = 4 points

Grand Total = 19 points!

Better choices might have been:

Minestrone Soup - 1 cup for 3 points
My own salad creation with only greens and free veggies and either Champagne Pear, Poppy Seed Orange or Honey Mustard Dressing, all just 1 point for 2 tablespoons of dressing!
Sweet Potato or Skin-on Mashed Potatoes - 4 points each

This alternative lunch would have only set me back 9 points!

The moral of this story is to plan ahead or at least calculate points before eating anything! I proved to myself once more that it's not easy to determine what foods are the most healthy and lowest in points using estimation alone. There are low point foods you can eat wherever you are but you have to find them!

On the other hand, I kept my portions in check and didn't indulge in desert, so even though I could have chosen better, I'm still proud of myself.  I enjoyed the celebration with my daughter and I have been satisfying my hunger since lunch with fruits and veggies. I know I could use some of my weekly bonus points, but so far I still have my 7 points available and it's almost 7 PM.  Time to eat dinner (Lean Cuisine Steak Tips Portobello for 4 pts)!

Souplantion & Sweet Tomatoes Nutritional Guide


Weekly Weigh-in Update: AND Computer is Back!

Well I finally got MY computer back and gave back my loaner from Staples.  Before I got the loaner, I learned a lot about what my iPod can do, but I don't want to have to be without it ever again for a month!

Today I weighed in 2 pounds lower than last, a drop I am very excited about for several reasons.

1. I am now at the weight I reached a while back when I lost weight on Mediweightloss Program.  THIS time, I know I won't slip and gain a bunch of weight back like I did after quitting that program!

2. I am now in the NORMAL range on the height/weight charts (albeit on the high end) and only one point off of being considered in the healthy BMI range.  I still have another twenty pounds to go to be in the "ideal" or "healthy" weight range range, so I'm not stopping!

Thank you Weight Watchers!




Monday, May 7, 2012

Weight Loss Progress


I'm back after being without a computer for over a month! Talk about withdrawal...and right now I'm actually using a loaner.  You don't realize how much you rely on your PC until you don't have it!

This last Friday, which was my weigh in day, I lost another 1/2 pound, and over the past month that adds up to an additional 4.5 pounds for a grand total this year of 27.4 pounds.  This weightloss journey has not been a quick drop, but a steady decline and one I'm sure I can sustain until I reach my ultimate goal.  Originally I set a goal that I blew past and reset a second goal.  I am now 5 pounds from that goal and plan on re-establishing another goal then that is 20 pounds lower.  If I can reach that goal I will be at the weight I was in my thirties!

I've got a computer, my weight is steadily dropping, and I'm fitting into cute clothes.  Life is good! Thank you Weight Watchers!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Weekly Weigh-in Update: Another Pound and a Half Lost!

Forgot to post yesterday, but my scale went down another pound and a half; that's a total of 23.5 pounds lost! I hit the original goal I had set for myself, but I see no reason to stop now, so I lowered my weight goal and plan to stay on this weight loss track.  It's steady and getting me where I want to go without appetite suppressants, crazy gimmicks or fad diets!

My clothes are fitting better, and my attitude is great! Thank you Weight Watchers!

The Importance of Measuring and Storing When on the Weight Watchers Program

Measure and Store for Portion Control
A key component of the Weight Watchers Program is portion control.  For me, I think this is the most important thing that has kept me on target with my weight loss.  My previous mindless eating, over the kitchen sink, sitting at the computer, or in front of the TV, had a large part in causing my waistline to balloon.

Day One on the Weight Watchers Program, I started figuring out how to eat a "Portion" and stay within my daily and weekly points allowance.  And to my amazement, it wasn't really all that hard!

Measuring

I use my measuring cups and spoons all the time now. I realized in the beginning that I wasn't very good at eyeballing how much 1/2 cup of rice or 2 Tablespoons of grated cheese was. When preparing my meals now I always measure or weigh ingredients.  I use my scale every time to determine how much of a cut of meat to portion off. When snacking, I count out the estimated number of pretzels or chips, etc. that the package reports as one serving.

I like soups and I determined that my ladle served up a one-cup portion of soup, so I always use that ladle. When adding mashed potatoes or rice to my plate, I scoop with my one-cup measure. When adding olive oil to the pan before cooking, I pour the oil into my measuring spoon first.  If you do this, you'll quickly learn that often you underestimate how much you use, but also, that sometimes you are OVER estimating!  Be as accurate as possible in the beginning until you have a good feel for portions.

Storage

When I make a dish that provides multiple meals (which is often since I am single), I divide up the dish as evenly as possible, serve myself one portion, and then store the remainder in one-serving portions.  My set of Rubbermaid storage containers have turned out to be perfect for this task. And they make my next meal a no-brainer for calculating my points!

I guess all this is common-sense, but I was not this logical or disciplined about my food until I started Weight Watchers.  You might find a method for measuring and storing that is different from mine, but the point  is to find a method that you will use consistently.

Weight Watcher friends: Measure it, Store the leftovers, and Smile on your weigh-in day!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rachael Ray's Stuffed Zucchini



Just watched a Rachael Ray video for stuffed zucchini and thought this recipe looked delicious and easy! Each serving would have a very low Weight Watcher's point value (you figure it out, but figured appx 4 pts per serving).

With spring in the air, it might be time to plant a zucchini plant or two and enjoy this dish all summer! Until then check out your local farmers market or Sprouts Market for fresh zuchinni squash.

Watch the video for her recipe below:
Rachael Ray's Stuffed Zucchini

Enjoy!

Friday, March 23, 2012

If It's Friday, It's Weigh-in Day!

Weight Watchers friends, I weighed in today another pound lighter than last week. Yay! That makes a total of 22 pounds lost since I began Weight Watchers in early January. 

In the beginning, I wasn't too excited about a one pound loss after a week, but the Weight Watchers Program has taught me that patience is a virtue...and that losing weight steadily teaches me new habits that I will most likely have for life. But most importantly, that steady weight loss adds up to a nice difference over a span of time.

To rethink the value of a pound lost, this is a good article to read:

 Losing Weight One Pound at a Time
 
A Pound of Bacon (Image courtesy of ranierzenz/wikimedia commons)

Have you just started a diet plan? If so, you are probably anxious to rid yourself of those extra pounds and start fitting into the clothes at the back of your closet as soon as possible. Not so fast! Losing weight takes commitment, knowledge and patience. Most importantly, it is best to be realistic about how quickly you can get to your goal weight.

So you just stepped on the scale after a week of dieting and it shows you've only lost one pound. Don't be discouraged! Let's review what it took to get to that scale's needle to move one notch, and why it's not such a bag thing!

1. How many calories equal one pound? One pound of lost body fat requires an intake of 3500 calories less than expended per week or 500 per day. To determine how many calories you would need to cut daily to lose that one pound, use Mayo Clinic's calorie calculator to determine your current daily caloric requirement and subtract 500 calories.

2. How long do you need to exercise to lose one pound? Use the Health Status calculator to determine how many minutes are required of a particular activity to lose one pound. You enter your age and weight and will be given a list of answers to choose from. For instance for a 50 year old, weighing 150 pounds, losing one pound would require 353 minutes of bicycling at 12-14 miles per hour, or 440 minutes on the stair machine, or 1,014 minutes of bowling.

3. What does it cost per week to keep that one pound around your middle? Using Caloriecount.com and Safeway.com's websites as resources, 3,500 calories equals 2.3 pounds of Sirloin Steak at $4.99 per pound ($11.48), or 23.3 ounces of Lay's Potato Chips at 75¢ an ounce ($17.48), 34 twelve ounce cans of Coors Lite at $15.99 for an 18 count case ($30.20), or 219 teaspoons of granulated sugar at .005 cents per teaspoon ($1.10)

Continue reading "Losing Weight One Pound at a Time"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chicken Tostadas ala Chris Powell



I saw Chris Powell on TV (Trainer from ABC’s “Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition) talking about this recipe and I decided it sounded easy and tasty. I wrapped this filling in a flour tortilla, rather than using a corn tortilla. I also omitted the salsa because I liked it more like fajitas.  See below for a link to his exact recipe.

 
Chicken "Tostada" Filling

WW Point Plus: 4 per serving
Makes 6 servings


Ingredients:

  • 8 Ounces Chicken Breast, sliced
  • 1 Green Pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 Medium Onion, sliced
  • 1 - 15 oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 5-6 sprays Olive Oil Spray

Cooking Directions:
  1. Spray pan with olive oil spray and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. 
  2. Saute onions and green peppers until crisp tender. 
  3. Push vegetables to edges of pan and add thinly sliced chicken breast in center. Cook 3-4 minutes, until done.  
  4. Add can of black beans and heat thoroughly.  
Wrap in corn or flour or corn tortilla or over Baked Tostitos.  (Be sure to count the appropriate points!) Top with shredded lettuce if desired.


Chris Powell's Chicken Tostada Recipe

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sara Lee Pita Pockets


If you haven't figured it out yet, Pita Pockets are a great sandwich option for Weight Watchers.

I buy Sara Lee's Mr. Pita Bread which has 12 pita pockets (1/2 of each "Loaf" in the bag).  Each pocket is only 2 pts, and can be filled with tuna salad, chicken salad, grilled chicken or skirt steak, ground beef.  Top each pocket off with lettuce, cucumbers, shredded radish or jicima. I just ate a fat, yummy tuna salad pita pocket that had a total of only 4 points!

I've also stuffed a pocket with 1/4 cup of low fat cheese (such as Sargento's 4 cheese Mexican blend) and grilled it......  It tasted somewhere between a grilled cheese and cheese crisp. (4 pts)

I'm sure there are other options for Pita Pockets....like as a pizza crust...what are your ideas? Do you have any recipes to share?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Chicken for Weight Watchers


I recently ran across a recipe online that got my mouth watering and seemed too easy not to try.  It wasn't a certified Weight Watcher's recipe .....not even touted as low fat.  However, I've learned over my many years of watching my weight, that Parmesan cheese can fit nicely into a weight loss program.

First of all, you have to shop for the right Parmesan cheese and find one that is low fat.  There are two brands I find in my local grocery stores: Sargento Artisan Blends, which has 1.5 grams of fat, and Private Selection, a Kroger brand that you can find in the deli at Fry's Food Stores, which is even lower in fat at 1 gram per serving. Check all the options at your grocer of choice and you'll find that they range from 1 to 8 grams of fat.  Pick the one with the lowest fat content; the taste is still great and you'll never miss that fat!

Parmesan cheese works great as a tasty crusting for various dishes such as zuchinni, eggplant and of course, chicken.  The recipe I found called for:

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise (I used a low fat generic brand mayo)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used the Sargento Artisan blend)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lbs.)
  • 4 tsp. Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs 
For the recipe directions, visit this webpage: Hellman's

Using lowfat mayo, lowfat Parmesan cheese and Panko bread crumbs, one serving of Parmesan Crusted Chicken (appx 4 oz) came out to 6 WW+ pts. It was delicious!

Note: In the picture above - Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Heinz Homestyle Roasted Turkey Gravy and Green Giant Herb Veggies. 11 pts total for a very filling dinner!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Weekly Weigh in Update: Lost 3.2 pounds!

In spite of my dinner with my granddaughter for her 18th birthday at The Melting Pot, I lost weight this week! In fact it was the largest loss since my first week on Weight Watchers at 3.2 pounds!  I have now reached my 10% goal with a total of 20.4 pounds lost since the first of January.  Goodbye fat me...things are shaping up. :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup for Weight Watchers


I'm guessing all Weight Watchers have incorporated soup into their daily diets. Filling up on meals with a low point value keeps us all on track!

I adapted my Crockpot Potato Soup to create its close cousin... in which Broccoli is the star ingredient.  It's creamy with minimal fat, filling and good for you. The best part is it's only 3 points per 1 cup serving! If you like broccoli, you'll love it!

Makes 10 - 1 cup servings
WW Pts+: 3 per serving

Ingredients:

14 oz. bag of frozen broccoli florets
1 small onion, chopped
3 cups water
3 cubes or teaspoons of chicken bouillon
1 can Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup (Healthy Request)
8 Oz. package Neufchatel cream cheese
1 cup skim milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Place broccoli and chopped onions into crock pot
  • Heat water. When hot, add bouillon and mix to create broth
  • Pour hot broth over broccoli and onions in crock pot.
  • Add soup, 1/2 teas salt and a few shakes of black pepper
  • Cook on high for and hour and a half or until onions are cooked.
  • Turn heat to low and add cream cheese. Cook another half hour until cheese has melted, stirring occasionally
  • Add milk and stir into soup mixture.
  • Cook an additional 10-15 minutes until heated through.
 
Tip: You can use 2 cans of chicken broth in place of the bouillon if preferred.  Adjust salt accordingly as the bouillon is usually saltier than the broth. Also, I found some of the broccoli florets a little too big for a soup spoon, so after the soup had cooked 1/2 hour I spooned out the larger florets and cut into smaller pieces.

Weight Watchers: It's All About Choices....

It only took me a few days to realize that the Weight Watchers Program was all about choices....making the right ones for me.  My daughter is on Weight Watchers too....my best girlfriend is as well; and the interesting thing is that we each use the choices and concepts of the Weight Watchers system in a slightly different manner.  That's the beauty of the point system, you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as you stay within your total point allotment for the day. And when you have a special event...you can dip into those weekly bonus points!

I think it's the psychology of the point system that works.  No more thinking solely in terms of calories, fat or carbs; it's just about the POINTS...that secret formula that Weight Watchers tell us is based on the Glycemic Index. Stay within the allotted points and you lose weight!

I equate it to having $100.00 n your pocket and walking into a store...you decide: Do I want this designer $100.00 item or these four knockoffs? Some days you want the designer item...but on other days it feels good to get a bargain and a larger bag!

Every day I make eating choices that make me happy and satisfy my needs for the day.  Sometimes my daughter and I splurge on a lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  I make the best choices I can while there, skip the cream cheese wontons, choose the plain rice over the fried rice, and often take part of the food home for later.  But whatever points I "spend" during that lunch fits into my daily plan...which may mean that I'll eat a lighter dinner (my Crockpot Broccoli Soup, Progresso soup or some vegetable based dish for example.) The daily total is what counts.

My daughter eats larger meals, and hits the sack early each night.  I usually eat light early in the day with a reasonable dinner, and save points for snacking in the evening since I am a night owl.

I love the Weight Watchers system because it works for me.  I've learned to look for bargains, how to spend my points wisely as well as budget them throughout the day and week.  But I think the Weight Watcher's program  works for me mostly because of all the choices I have...tomorrow is always a new day!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Strawberry Kefir Smoothie


Sometimes I need something that is sweet, not a fruit and not a Weight Watchers frozen bar (although I DO love most of them!)  When I was on the 17 Day Diet, I had a Kefir Smoothie almost daily, which met a requirement of that diet.

t was on this diet that I learned to like Kefir (find it in any grocery store near the yogurt) and starting freezing strawberries, blueberries and bananas before they went bad and used them in my smoothies.  Fresh will work too, but the drink is more akin to a milk shake if you use frozen. In the off season, all grocery stores carry a fruit medley in the frozen section.  I love the package that has all tropical fruit: pineapple, mango, papaya etc.

Tonight I took that basic idea and made a close cousin to that Smoothie I used to make ...but more Weight Watcher's friendly and just as delicious! Here's how to make it.

In a blender, add:
  • 1/2 cup Kefir (or fat free plain yogurt)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (or other frozen fruit)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup diet Lemon Lime Soda
  • 1/4 cup Splenda

Blend until it is the consistency you like, adding soda to thin.  Makes a tall glassful. 

The best part of this frozen concoction is that it is just 2 Weight Watcher's points!

Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review of "Start Walking at Home" with Leslie Sansone

In my continuing quest to find a variety of workouts that will motivate me to stay on track with my weight loss and fitness routine, I decided to try Leslie Sansone's walking workout routines. Leslie Sansone has over 75 in-home walking videos and she owns Studio Fitness in New Castle, Pennsylvania. This workout review is of her 1 and 2 mile workouts featured in her "Start Walking at Home" series, which I tried on exercise TV. I found them both easy to follow and energizing!

The simple act of walking has inherent health benefits for everyone. The American Heart Association (AHA) endorses a regular walking routine to prevent heart disease and claim that brisk walking for 30 minutes can reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. If you like the idea of a walking routine to get or stay in shape, check out AHA's "My Start" walking site, where you can sign up for newsletters, connect with "sole mates" that share your quest, plan a routine and track your miles from walking, as well as enter your daily food intake. Additionally, if you don't have one, purchase a pedometer to track your steps during a walking program. You'll find yourself taking the longer route when you have that step counter clipped to your waistband!


To view the full review, click here: "Start Walking at Home"

For a visual of one her walking workouts

Birthday Dinner with my Granddaughter: TGFBP! (Thank goodness for bonus points!)


I have seven grandkids and I take each of them to dinner for their birthdays every year.  As they have gotten older, the dinner tab has gotten more expensive, but I relish this annual one-on-one with them.

Last night my second oldest granddaughter, Kayla, and I went to her place of choice in Phoenix, The Melting Pot.  We have talked about this plan for several years, deciding that her 18th birthday deserved such a celebration (Our total with tip was over $100!)

I was worried about the plan from a Weight Watchers perspective because she wanted the 2-person, 4-course dinner which included a cheese fondue appetizer, salad, dinner fondue (with 4 different meats) and a chocolate dessert fondue to top it all off.   I KNEW that this would be tricky for me but I also wanted to partake in the celebration.

We chose the spinach artichoke appetizer, which came with veggies, bread cubes and chips.  I got the salad wedge with raspberry vinaigrette for my salad.  We picked a broth-based fondue to cook our meats (lean sirloin steak, ahi tuna, shrimp, and chicken breast).  And for the final temptation, we ordered the Yin-Yang fondue which was half milk chocolate and half white chocolate. The Yin-Yang had several diet-busting choices for dipping that included red velvet cake, brownies, rice krispie treats, marshmallows, bananas and strawberries.  Since it was her birthday, they added a piece of cheesecake. I tasted a piece of each, concentrating on the fruit....but there was that chocolate part with every dip...yikes....

I had saved up 21 of my daily points and I had all of my weekly bonus points available, but I knew that as hard as I was trying to keep the point count down, I was racking them up with every course. I did my best to estimate the total damage on my food log (31 points) but to be honest, I wasn't sure how close I was, and I worried I was underestimating.  I sent the meat and dessert leftovers home with Kayla, so at least I don't have to worry about them staring me in the face today!

Bottom line, I enjoyed the night with Kayla and indulged a bit, but afterward I didn't throw my hands up and say, "Might as well forget about dieting now!"... like I might have on other diet plans.  Instead, I knew I'd gone into my bonus points a significant amount for one day and decided I'd be extra careful not to exceed my daily points the rest of the week. Also, as soon as the food had settled, I got in 20 minutes of low impact aerobics to try to burn a few of those yummy calories I'd eaten!

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that I will still lose weight on my Friday weigh-in.


Veggie Chips - 2 Weight Watchers Points!


Just sharing a find for you Weight Watchers snackers.  If you have a Sprouts in your area, get their Veggie Chips, they have 10 g fat, 16 g carbs,  1 g fiber and 1 g protein.  This equals 2 WW pts for 26 chips.  They taste great and contain zero trans fat.  They were priced at 2/$4.00.

A new favorite for me!  Now even more reason to make my weekly Sprouts trip.  Love that store!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Weekly Weigh-in Update: Loss of 1.5 pounds!

Just a quick update.  This last weigh-in I was down another pound and a half, for a total of 17.4 pounds! I had gained a 1/2 pound last week for the very first time during my Weight Watchers journey, so looks like I'm back on track.

The week I gained I had used 20 of my 49 bonus pts...the most I've used to date.  I don't think I can use very many of those weekly bonus points and still lose weight, so I am going to avoid that as much as possible until I reach my goal!

Winning!


Losing Weight Slowly but Surely

Most Weight Watchers understand that the best way to lose weight is on a slow and steady pace, 1-2 pounds a week.  I've finally gotten used to that fact and have totally embraced it!

Here's one of my Yahoo articles that drives this point home, and gives some startling facts about what each milestone of fat lost represents in terms of reduced calories, energy expended and even inanimate objects! :)

Image courtesy of Aspen04/wikimedia commons
Losing Weight One Pound at a Time 
Pub. 7-25-09 Yahoo Voices

Have you just started a diet plan? If so, you are probably anxious to rid yourself of those extra pounds and start fitting into the clothes at the back of your closet as soon as possible. Not so fast! Losing weight takes commitment, knowledge and patience. Most importantly, it is best to be realistic about how quickly you can get to your goal weight.

Losing One Pound of Body Weight
 
So you just stepped on the scale after a week of dieting and it shows you've only lost one pound. Don't be discouraged! Let's review what it took to get to that scale's needle to move one notch, and why it's not such a bag thing!

1. How many calories equal one pound? One pound of lost body fat requires an intake of 3500 calories less than expended per week or 500 per day. To determine how many calories you would need to cut daily to lose that one pound, use Mayo Clinic's calorie calculator to determine your current daily caloric requirement and subtract 500 calories.

2. How long do you need to exercise to lose one pound? Use the Health Status calculator to determine how many minutes are required of a particular activity to lose one pound. You enter your age and weight and will be given a list of answers to choose from. For instance for a 50 year old, weighing 150 pounds, losing one pound would require 353 minutes of bicycling at 12-14 miles per hour, or 440 minutes on the stair machine, or 1,014 minutes of bowling. 

Continue reading "Losing Weight One Pound at a Time"

How Often Should You Weigh Yourself When Dieting?

Image courtesy of Clarita/morguefile.com
I personally LOVE the Weight Watchers scheduled once a week weigh-in.  I am planning on adopting this as a lifelong habit! Here's an article I wrote in support of this practice.

How Often Should You Weigh Yourself When Dieting
Article pub. 1-31-12 Suite 101 

Stepping on the scale regularly is a healthy habit for everyone to adopt. But when trying to lose weight, how often should a dieter weigh-in?

Dr. Mike Moreno reports in his book, The 17 Day Diet, “Not too many people like to weigh themselves. Doctors know this. After patients step on the scale, they think it is giving them the weight of a completely different person, like Hulk Hogan.”

Should a Dieter Weigh Daily, Weekly, or What?

Most dieters are impatient to see results and many jump on the scale every day to find out the verdict. Is this wise?

Some weight loss experts feel that weighing daily can have a detrimental effect on motivation if the number on the scale isn’t what a dieter had hoped to see. Additionally, it takes a reduction of 3,500 calories to lose a pound. Due to these two facts, many weight loss plans incorporate a weekly weigh-in.

Continue reading "How Often Should You Weigh Yourself When Dieting?"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Banana Split for Weight Watchers

The secret for Weight Watchers is to find low point foods that are a good substitute for the more fattening foods you like.  I'm sharing the treat I made for myself tonight that I'm calling the WW Banana Split. I had a bunch of points leftover tonight and this was just 4 yummy pts!

First I placed 1 graham cracker square in a bowl topped by a 1/2 cup scoop of Breyer's Fat Free ice cream.

Next I spooned strawberry and banana slices on top of the ice cream.






Fat Free Whipped Topping was the grand finale!


Weight Watchers with a sweet tooth, as simple as this was, it tasted almost decadent! :)


Chicken Chow Mein for Weight Watchers


I love Chinese and have made this dish forever.  Most oriental dishes make for great meals when dieting. They are inherently low in calories and points because they are filled with vegetables, but I leaned it up even further for Weight Watchers and don't miss anything I left out! This recipe is as easy as it is delicious, especially if you can get your significant other to slice up the veggies!

Serves 5
WW Pts+: 3 per serving

Ingredients:
3/4 pound chicken breast, sliced thinly
1 cup uncooked, sliced celery
I med onion, sliced or chopped as preferred (I like to see my onions)
1 can water chestnuts, drained
2 cups sliced peppers, green, red, yellow or orange
1 can bean sprouts, rinsed
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
Several sprays of olive oil spray
2 tsp soy sauce (or to taste)
1 envelope turkey or chicken gravy, prepared as directed
Optional: Sesame Seeds

Directions:
  • Spray skillet generously with Olive Oil Spray and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Heat pan to medium high and add onions, peppers, and celery and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • Push veggies to one side of pan, spray again with Olive Oil and add sliced chicken breast. Cover pan and cook 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn chicken pieces to other side and cook another 2-3 minutes, covered.
  • Uncover pan, add water chestnuts, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and soy sauce.  Stir all ingredients together and cook a few minutes to heat thoroughly
  • Prepare turkey gravy and stir into mixture.
  • When the gravy liquid starts to thicken, turn off heat.
  • Serve over rice or noodles. (Pts not included) Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Variation:
If you prefer beef, use 4 ounces of sirloin, round, flank or skirt steak, tenderize first, and then slice steak very thin. Pan sear beef in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add 1/4 cup water and simmer 30 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook as directed, except use beef gravy.  Same Weight Watchers point value!

Special K Cracker Chips

If you are a Weight Watchers snacker and haven't tried them yet, be sure to check out Special K's Cracker Chips.  They are so good and, at 3 pts per serving (27-30 chips), they provide lots of crunch for your Weight Watchers Points! I've tried the Southwest Ranch, Cheddar Cheese and Sea Salt varieties and like all three (the Southwest Ranch is a bit spicy). They are baked and made of potatoes and brown rice.  I like mine with a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese for a healthy 5 pt snack that also gives me a milk serving.  I love being able to eat a snack while I am "dieting" on Weight Watchers, don't you?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crepes for Weight Watchers

Makes 12-15 crepes
WW Pts+: Appx 1 per crepe

Crepes are easy to make and a great way to create a main dish or dessert great for any dieter and low on Weight Watchers points.  You don't need a special pan and probably have all the ingredients on hand.

Here's my recipe for basic dessert crepes:

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup flour (any type)
1 cup skim milk
1 T sugar
 1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt

Directions:
  • Mix ingredients with whisk.
  • Heat small skillet that has been sprayed with Olive Oil spray to medium heat (spray before the first few crepes...you probably won't need to after that)
  • Add scant 1/4 cup batter to pan and swirl until it covers bottom of pan.
  • Cook until the top of crepe is no longer moist and starting to curl
  • Lift edge of crepe with fork or spatula and place crepe on plate (cook only one side)
  • Continue until batter is gone.




Filling:
Fill crepe with pudding, whipped topping, fruit, ice cream, etc.

My favorite filling is a spoonful of fat free Strawberry yogurt spread down the middle, slices of strawberries, blueberries and banana, topped with a generous spoon of fat free whipped topping.
This filling adds less than 1 pt to the crepe.  Without the yogurt the filling is zero pts!

Notes:
  • I use whole wheat flour, but you can use any type of flour you prefer.  You could try 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat to add more fiber to your diet. 
  • Be sure to refrigerate your crepes right away and eat within a few days as they will spoil. They're so easy to make, you can make 1/2 batch if you don't think you'll eat them up fast enough.
  • For dinner crepes, omit the sugar and vanilla.
 Enjoy fellow Weight Watchers!!


Crockpot Potato Soup for Weight Watchers

Here's a recipe that I am making almost weekly now.  It is a very filling 4 points!

Image courtesy of Joy Schantz
Crockpot Potato Soup

Makes 10 cup servings
WW Pts+: 4 per cup

Ingredients:
1 26-30 ounce bag frozen hash browns (plain)
2 14 ounce cans non-fat chicken broth
1 10-3/4 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp pepper
1 - 8 ounce pkg lowfat (1/3 less fat) cream cheese
1 cup fat free milk

Directions:
  • Add first 5 ingredients to crock pot and cook on high for an hour and a half or until bubbly.
  • Stir and then add cream cheese, cut into cubes,  and cook another hour 1/2 or until cheese can be stirred into mixture.
  • Add milk and cook 10 - 15 minutes longer. (Crockpot should be almost full. If not, add more milk
Optional: Garnish with chopped green onion and bacon bits. (Add 1 pt for garnish)
Variation: Use frozen Country potatoes or Potatoes O'Brien in place of the hash browns.

Enjoy!

Nutrition Info per cup serving:
 
Calories 177



Fat 5.4 g
Sat. Fat  3.5 g
Carbs 24.5 g
Fiber 1.6 g
Sugars 1.6 g
Protein 5.7 g
Sodium  308 mg

NOTE to Weight Watchers:  I have amended the point value for this recipe and added nutritional information based on the comments.  My original point value was calculated via the WW recipe builder on the Weight Watcher site....but when the ingredients are entered into the recipe builder in Myfitnesspal and then entered into the iBites point calculator this is the result.  Interesting that it was lower in points using WW tools...right? Go figure.  I still feel a cup of this soup is worth the new 4 points!



What's Your BMI?

Image courtesy of Cohdra/morguefile.com
Most Diets, including Weight Watchers encourages tracking, which I enjoy.  I love the online tools on the Weight Watcher's site that I use faithfully to determine the points values of my food choices, as well as their tracker for logging in my food intake and exercise.  I do wish they had a few other tools: a Body Mass Index or BMI calculator for one.

I consider it important to know what your height/weight relationship means in terms of the amount of fat you are carrying around. Besides not fitting into cute clothes, too much fat equals health problems.

In searching for a BMI calculator, I found a good site that is filled with helpful tools, which includes a BMI calculator and even a Pointsplus calculator tool! In calculating my BMI today, I have a 28.7 BMI, which means I am still overweight (no shock here).  It indicates that for my age and height, my BMI should be between 18.5 and 25.  I am setting a goal of hitting that 25 BMI by the end of the year (which equates to 30 pounds).

What's your BMI? 

Here's the link: BMI calculator

Portion Control

I think one of the most important things you learn on the Weight Watcher's diet is portion control.  Every meal and snack now, I measure before I eat.  I scoop my rice with a measuring cup.  I count out 53 pretzels sticks for a snack.  I've known this is important for a while, but for some reason, I find it easier to put this rule into play on the Weight Watchers plan.

Here's an article I wrote a while back that makes for good reading when you need a reminder, not just about eating healthy, but also about eating a sensible portion. Fellow Weight Watchers, just say NO to supersizing!

"Portion Control - How Much Food is Enough"
Image courtesy of ebru/wikimedia commons
Americans have gotten out-of-control with their eating habits, and lack of portion control is a key contributor to gaining weight.No doubt, food choice contributes to obesity in this country, but just as bad is the mindset that “more is better” when eating out or serving a family dinner.

Does Eating "Supersized" Equal Obesity?
The movie, “Supersize Me” released in 2004, highlighted the insanity and toxicity of fast food eating and the portions involved. In the movie, Morgan Spurlock personally tests the effect of eating fast food for thirty days and gains 24 pounds!

Wholehealtheducation.com’s article, “Stress Causing Americans to Supersize” by Georgianna Donadio, Ph.D, points to this movie as a pop culture example of the issues of everyday gorging on food. She tells us that a study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, outlined how food portions grew in fast food chains, restaurants and even homes from 1977 to 1996, citing stress as the key motivator. (Continue reading "Portion Control - How Much Food is Enough?)

Where to Start?

Image By CarrieBee (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It's hard to know exactly where to start a blog about losing weight, but I guess the answer is with TODAY!

After signing up online for the new Weight Watchers Plus Program, I am now heading into my third month of weight loss. I'd never been on Weight Watchers before, believe it or not. My grown daughter and I joined at the same time, which has made it much more fun and a big help in getting started.

I'm on Facebook a lot.  I'm part of a Facebook group that has been set up for a while that is interested in losing weight and staying fit, so we post our workouts and diets, etc. Back in January, I posted that I'd joined Weight Watchers and since then, I've been posting how many pounds I've lost each week. Eventually, my best friend, Sharon, and her husband joined.  Then my niece, JoAnne, joined.  And just this week my songwriting friend, Deanna, joined too!  I guess my success in losing 16 pounds over the past two months has inspired them to try Weight Watchers out too!

We've been sharing experiences and recipes in our Facebook group, so I'll be sharing any tips I discover now on this blog.  I hope our discoveries and tips help you too!