Saturday, October 3, 2009

Awesome Apple Crisp WW recipe



So it is apple picking season for many of us. They are so delicious right off the tree, but if you find yourself craving some apple crisp this time of year as much as I do you certainly want a recipe that will fit in your healthier eating lifestyle... this one does the trick! I did use the light butter and it was SUPER! So try it and let me know what you think.





"Healthified" Apple Crisp
from Eat Better America

What is "Healthified"?
We've replaced ingredients with great-tasting alternatives to create better-for-you recipes that are just as yummy as the original.
Variation
For variety, stir 2 to 4 tablespoons ground flaxseed into the topping mixture before sprinkling over apples.
Did You Know?
Good apples for apple crisp are the same as those that are good in apple pie, such as Braeburn, Jonathan, McIntosh or Northern Spy

48 ratings - Click to rate50% less fat • 33% more fiber • 29% fewer calories than the original recipe—see the comparison. By using fiber-rich whole-wheat flour and oats, we were able to add a third more fiber to a dessert that's good to the core! From eatbetteramerica.



Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:50 min
makes:8 servings (about 2/3 cup each)



6 cups sliced unpeeled cooking apples (6 medium)
1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup Gold Medal® whole wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or no-trans-fat 68% vegetable oil spread stick, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Reduced-fat vanilla ice cream, if desired





To reduce the points of this recipe from 4 points to 3 points substitute light butter for regular butter (It is not necessary to substitute Splenda Brown Sugar- it actually increases the points back to 4- so use the real stuff if possible!) Ice Cream is not included in the points calcualtions-



1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix apples, apple juice concentrate and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon until well mixed. Spread in baking dish.



2. In same medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.



3. Bake uncovered 25 to 35 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden brown.


Serve with ice cream.






Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 190 (Calories from Fat 60);


Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0g);


Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 45mg;


Total Carbohydrate 32g (Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 21g);


Protein 2g %





Daily Value*: Vitamin A 4%; Vitamin C 4%; Calcium 2%; Iron 4% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1/2 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 2 MyPyramid Servings: 2 tsp Fats & Oils, 1/4 c Fruits, 1 oz-equivalents Grains


*% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Gained 9 pounds in 3 days????

OK, so I really didn't think this was even possible... but since weighing in at my meeting on Friday (with a 1.8 pound loss--YAY!!!) and arriving home this afternoon from an impromptu beach trip, my scale says I have gained 9 pounds??? WHAT!?!?! There is no way! Did I stay on plan? NO, but I wasn't crazy either, well there were a lot of frozen fruity drinks involved all weekend but still ---9 POUNDS-- that's just crazy?
Anyone have a similar thing EVER happen, is it from eating all restaurant prepared food? Someone please tell me this will go away- like tomorrow when I wake up- I am good with a 1 or 2 pound gain but 9.... seems IMPOSSIBLE!! (and yes- I exercised BOTH days at the beach!!)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Give more than 100%!!!

OK this is completely off subject but it is too funny not to share. Enjoy!

Here is a little something someone sent me that is indisputable mathematical logic. It also made me Laugh Out Loud.This is a strictly mathematical viewpoint...it goes like this:

What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?
Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions: If:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Then: H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K 8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

and

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

But ,

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

And,

B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T 2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND,

look how far ass kissing will take you.

A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G 1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, it's the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top.

'REMEMBER SOME PEOPLE ARE ALIVE SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL TO SHOOT THEM

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cooking Light Magazine

I am very excited about the lose for good WW program. I feel that I am doing better because I feel my effort will also benefit others.. so if I don't I feel a little guilty. I have lost 45 pounds since March, which I am very proud of. I had a good (odd) encounter yesterday. My daughter's fall soccer team started practice last evening and I ran in into a friend I hadn't seen since last fall (football season). She actually squealed as I walked towards her ans said, "Oh my goodness you look fabulous, you are so skinny, what are you doing?" I told her I joined WW in March and have lost 45 pounds. I expected a positive response but instead she seemed disappointed. She told me she thought that maybe I had surgery or was taking something"good". She also said she thought my loss was very slow and that she needs to lose 30 pounds but could do it in a month if she tried. She couldn't believe it has taken me 6 months to lose 45.

So how should I feel after this encounter.. I know I am doing a great job and have changed my habits, but man her "compliment" didn't feel so great... but whatever! I feel great about my healthier lifestyle no matter how long it has taken!

So I want to share a great deal on some magazines (plus it is a way to help out my son's school!). Of course back to school means selling CRAP!!! I was pleasantly surprised when he brought home his sales info and realized 2 magazines I love Cooking Light and Health magazine's and realized they are really a great deal!! You can get Cooking Light for $15 for 8 issues or $20 for 12 issues and Health is $15 for 15 issues and $20 for $20 issues! If anyone is interested in ordering these (actually there are a bunch of titles that you can choose from, but these are my 2 favorites!) email me at neatnickk@yahoo.com and I will send you the link and details. Everything is ordered online and it is sent directly to you. Plus my son will be super grateful because he needs to sell 25 items to get to go to the Magic Show at the end of the sales period! Thanks so much for considering!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cream of Broccoli Soup- Zero (0) points!!!!

I have been walking each morning with my next door neighbor. It is so nice to have a chat while getting some great exercise. She is a WW lifetime member and has shared so many great tips with me. Today she gave me the recipe for Cream of Broccoli Soup... LOVE IT!! She said it is a zero point recipe... so eat up and enjoy. It is really good!!!

CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP

Ingredients: 3 cans fat free chicken broth (however I seem to use more)
1 pkg. (2 lbs) bag of frozen broccoli (chopped)
3/4 c. diced carrots (again I use more)
1 sm. onion chopped
2 pkgs Pioneer no fat country gravy mix (I always have to hunt for this stuff) Bi-lo's usually has it or Food Lion. The no fat is extremely hard to find but for zero points it's important.
Add carrots and onions to broth, simmer until softened, add broccoli. Simmer 5 minutes. Mix gravy according to directions when soup comes to a boil add 2 cups of water then stir gravy into soup slowly (it will thicken) cook until heat through. You may find you will need to add a little chicken broth into the mixture if needed. That's it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Day Back to....

well for the kids it's back to school. For me it's back to routine and as far as my healthy lifestyle, routine is good. I did cry this morning (I always cry the first day back).. I really miss them and each year they are more fun to be around all summer. This year is hard. My oldest is a senior and all I could think about is next year I won't be there on her first day of class to take her picture... well I guess I could be she may kill me!! I can't believe how fast she has grown.. I am very proud of her!

Got everyone out the door and then ate cantaloupe (from my garden) and some fiber one yogurt with some granola. My neighbor is a WW lifetime member and walks everyday, so I asked her if I could join her once school started. 3 miles and 45 minutes later I was sweating like a pig (already 92 at 10 am) and felt great!!!

Looks like a quiet afternoon, catch up on some chores and be a little lazy- I feel like I deserve it!! The afternoon/evening rush will be here soon enough!

In scale news, I am down another 1.6 pounds as of this morning- Weigh in Friday should be a good one!!! Hope all of you are enjoying your day as much as I am enjoying mine.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Healthified" Peach Cobbler



It's peach season and I can't wait to try this!!!

"Healthified" Peach Cobbler
from eat better america

What is "Healthified"?
We've replaced ingredients with great-tasting alternatives to create better-for-you recipes that are just as yummy as the original.
Substitution
If fresh peaches are available, use 4 cups sliced peeled peaches instead of the canned peaches. Or, you can use a 16-oz bag of frozen sliced peaches, thawed.
Did You Know?
The lemon juice used in this recipe adds a little sparkle that perks up the peach flavor.


5 ratings - Click to rate39% fewer calories • 57% less fat • 95% less sat fat fat than the original recipe. Cobbler like mom used to make – now healthified for more health-conscious times. You’ll feel just peachy!
Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:1 hr 30 min
makes:6 servings

1 cup Bisquick Heart Smart® mix
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup fat-free (skim) milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 can (29 oz) peach slices in light syrup, drained
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Vanilla reduced-fat ice cream, if desired

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In ungreased 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish, stir Bisquick mix and cinnamon. Stir in milk and oil with wire whisk or fork until blended.

2. In medium bowl, mix sugar, peaches and lemon juice. Spoon over batter in baking dish.

3. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand about 20 minutes before serving.


Serve warm with ice cream.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 280 (Calories from Fat 70); Total Fat 8g (Saturated Fat 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 190mg; Total Carbohydrate 49g (Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 35g); Protein 3g % Daily Value*: Vitamin A 15%; Vitamin C 4%; Calcium 15%; Iron 6% Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1/2 Fruit; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 3 MyPyramid Servings: 2 tsp Fats & Oils, 1/2 c Fruits *% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Garden Blessing!!!







Wow! I haven't had a garden in 4 years an d I really missed it! We are up to our ears in tomatoes and cucumbers, the watermelon and cantaloupe are almost ready. I think I have gotten rid of most of the squash bugs and the new crop of zucchini is coming. They killed all of my beautiful plants from the first planting but with diligence I am keeping up with it. I can't seem to get rid of them any other way but to use duct tape to remove their eggs from my plant leaves. I usually find a couple while I am doing this, they get the duct tape too... YUCK!! I swear they multiply like rabbits, every time I catch one I actually catch two... if you know what I mean.. Apparently Squash bugs have a very healthy libido!! They are trying to spread to my pumpkins. Anyone have anything great to get rid of them? I tried using sevin, it works some but I hate to use it when the flowers are blooming because it says it will kill an entire nest of bees if anyone of them gets contaminated. I wonder if that is why the bees are disappearing?



So I was down last week 2.8 pounds and should be down another 2 this week!! YAY!!! Between the great veggies and all of the fresh, super sweet super juicy peaches we have right now, I don't have any room for any other food!!! So I am grateful for this time of year- it is wonderful to have such filling satisfying food- a lot of which I grew myself.



Tuesday, August 11, 2009


From weight watchers website... MMMM GOOD!


Summer Corn, Bacon and Potato Chowder



POINTS® Value: 4Servings: 4Preparation Time: 20 minCooking Time: 15 minLevel of Difficulty: EasyWorks with Simply Filling

Sweet summer corn can't be beat. Highlight it in this chowder along with buttery Yukon Gold potatoes and smoky Canadian bacon.




Ingredients

1 medium Yukon Gold potato(es)
1 spray(s) cooking spray
1/2 cup(s) celery, chopped
1/4 cup(s) onion(s), chopped (or 1 large shallot)
4 piece(s) corn on the cob, kernels removed with a knife
1 cup(s) sweet red pepper(s), diced
4 oz Canadian-style bacon, diced
2 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce, or to taste

Instructions

Pierce potato in several places with a fork; microwave on high power until tender, turning over once, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool; peel and mash.
Meanwhile, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray. Add celery, onion, corn and red pepper; sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
Stir bacon and milk into saucepan; stir in mashed potato and mix well. Season with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce; stir to combine. Cover and simmer 10 minutes (do not allow to boil). Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.
Notes
Feel free to substitute your favorite fresh vegetables like asparagus and broccoli for the red pepper. Or to save time, substitute 2 cups of frozen corn and 1 cup of frozen, diced bell pepper for the fresh corn and red pepper.

WW Banana Berry Smoothie

I got this recipe in my email from weight watchers today. I tried it and the only thing I changed was adding some splenda and ice. It was really great, you could always substitute the milk choice with soy or almond, and I also used the greek yogurt- just seems creamier! Enjoy


1 small banana (or 1/2 large banana)
1/4 cup raspeberries
1/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup plain fat free yogurt
1 cup skim milk
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
2 packets of splenda

4 points

Put everything in the blender and blend 15-20 seconds... I also like to add 1/2 cup of ice to make it frosty...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

REALLY REALLY BIG NEWS!!! I AM IN CONTROL!!

Let me tell you that I awoke today with a lot of get up and go... so I got up and went... walking, that is. I always feel so much better, higher energy levels, just all around better when I cut white flour and sugar completely out of my diet. I mean in one day I am soaring on the what-can-I-do-next-O-Meter.
I have read over and over again how white flour and sugar from your diet can improve energy levels and mood. I have done this before and I have always felt much better. Even with felling great I still struggle with the temptation. It feels like an addiction, I know it is bad for me, will end up feeling worse but still on occasion have to have the gratification of something sweet and creamy. I don't know what part of my brain triggers these cravings but I really wish I knew more, because it doesn't make sense in my head that I choose something that is not beneficial to my healthy lifestyle but makes me feel bad.
I guess it is a struggle I will continue having, but I am fighting it for today... and each day because the benefit is outstanding.
Today is what counts not regretting past mistakes or thinking about what if... I am feeling better and also have a bit of wonderful, HUGE, news to share. I have struggled with my weight since my first pregnancy and never got a handle on it until this year. Don't get me wrong.. I was on some type of diet almost every week but nothing I ever could live long term with. After a month or so I would always give up. I have been doing WW since March and am still able to stay with it. That alone is mind blowing to me.. BUT the big news is that I weigh less today than I have weighed since the birth of my first child!!! I have finally done it and I feel like there is no end to the continued success I will have. This is really BIG for me, I have never felt successful or in control of my weight and today I took back the control and know that I can do it. For me that is the battle, believing that I can.
I attribute some of this to reading your struggles and successes. I really believe if I had not started reading blogs and blogging myself I would not have made it this far. I have picked up so many tips, recipes and just plain ol' inspiration through your words and successes. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is this a good idea?

I lost 2.8 pounds at Friday's weigh in, which is great, but not as great as it sounds. I missed 2 weeks so it is for the whole time. I am really feeling like I need to stir things up and lose a little more than that.
I am going to eat only fruit, veggies, lean meat and limited whole grains for this week. I have been eating too much low fat ice cream and some sugary snacks. I know it is defeating my goals and I think if I go back to basics I will lose faster.
I am also increasing my exercise from none, lately, to everyday. I know I will see an initial gain (because I always do when I increase activity.
My question is... I know eating a low carb (bad carb) diet will increase my weight loss but are there any downfalls in doing so? Will I gain back as soon as I have ice cream again? I have been going at a steady pace, but so so so slow. I am thinking a couple weeks of cutting out the white sugar will really motivate me. I have taken my measurements and in losing 35 pounds (to date) I have also lost a total of 20.5 inches off of my waist, hips, bust, thighs, and arms and decreased from a size 20W to a snug 14(misses). My clothes that were very tight on me when I started are now falling off, and I can no longer wear them. It is a great feeling, but suddenly I want more, I want it faster. I have been getting many positive comments and that feels good but also makes me want it faster.
Anyone else experience this? Any tips or suggestions? I really feel motivated and really want o take advantage of this burst of motivation in the best way possible. Thanks for leaving your tips and comments, I read them over and over, they really make a difference for me!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I AM A BLOGGER SLACKER!!

So I admit it... I SUCK!!! Being in the midst of summer fun and travel has been a challenge for me. I haven't been on program and I haven't been blogging. The two go pretty much hand in hand for me. I think it comes down to a concentrated effort for both. When I am OP, I want to blog and share info, success and read what everyone else is up to. When I am a slacker, I do not want to blog because I will have to read everyone else's success and tips and realize I need to do better.
I have done better this week and writing this post is the last step to my full recovery and commitment. This does something for me... makes me be accountable each day for my choices and really works for me.
I haven't gained- well at least the couple pounds I did gain are already gone but I have been about the same weight for 3 weeks... That's OK because summer is filled with so many options. I haven't planned like I should have, I have overindulged during travel, I have had some extra stress, but you know what, I am still OK- I made it through the last several weeks and still have the desire to continue. I am proud of myself for that!
I also need to return to my exercise program- any program actually. I am going to get back to walking and journaling... I know those are two key components to my success. I am happy to be back! I missed all of you and have to catch up on what you are doing... It may take a day or two but I will be up to speed soon! Enjoy your day!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

COSMIC UBER GROOVY AMBROSIAL HOLEY DONUTS!


Let me first say.... Decadent, heavenly, luscious....


LOW FAT Banana Creme Oreo and LOW FAT Vanilla Crumb Holey Donuts!



Recently the generous folks from Holey Donuts sent me a variety of donuts to sample. I was ecstatic to try some new flavors and they were all great. I sampled the Banana Creme Oreo, Vanilla Crumb, Chocolate Crumb, Caramel Crumb and Lemon Vanilla Donut Holes... All were fabulous!



When I first saw the Banana Creme Oreo I wasn't sure if I'd like it. I am all about the creme filling in donuts, so after allowing it to thaw I sliced into it... Let me just say, I wanted to bathe in the banana pudding filling. Did you ever eat the banana pudding made with sweetened condensed milk? The filling in this donut was better.. I know, I couldn't believe it either. The donut had a total of 4 WW points but tasted like 12 (at least). There was a ton of Oreo cookie crumbs and chocolate and vanilla creme frosting on the top. Each bite was a perfect balance and blend of the flavors for an out of this world taste!







Next up was the Vanilla Crumb. Very good, delicate dough, great icing taste. My son ate one and after he did I told them it was a low fat doughnut and he didn't believe me. He loves plain frosted doughnuts and said it was one of the best he had ever eaten. My favorite of this selection was the chocolate crumb. The chocolate frosting is the well, chocolatiest! The caramel is a VERY close second- I am telling you they are all great! 3 WW points each!







The Lemon Vanilla Donut Holes are my favorite. You can have 4 of them for 3 WW points! They are perfection. The lemon filling explodes in your mouth and then you get the sweet glaze mixed in the bunch with the delicate dough- COSMIC GOOD!! TOP PICK!!!
I was browsing the new selections and my top picks to try are (in order)..






Assortment #6
Jumbo Reduced Fat Blueberry Vanilla Cinnamon Buns



Assortment #20
Reduced Fat Raspberry Fudge







30 Piece Low Fat Donut Hole Sampler


Low Fat Raspberry Vanilla Truffle Donut Holes

Low Fat Boston Cream Donut Holes

Low Fat Lemon Vanilla Donut Holes




Sampler Favorites A


Reduced Fat Fudge Boston Cream

Reduced Fat Raspberry Vanilla Truffle

Reduced Fat Caramel Apple

Reduced Fat Blueberry Crumb

Reduced Fat Lemon Graham Cracker

Low Fat Vanilla Crumb


I hoping that I can do a Holey Donut giveaway in the future. Keep an eye out for it..
and a friendly reminder...
wipe up the drool off your keyboard before you exit this page.. HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thai Green Curry Chicken



Spicy and fresh tasting, this Thai-inspired curry takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. Serve with basmati rice.
Takes under 30 minutes
Makes 4 servingsINGREDIENTS

4 POINTS per serving

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1 pound (480g) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into thin strips

1 cup (8 fl oz/240ml) fat-free low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup (4 fl oz/120ml) evaporated skim milk

1-3 teaspoons Thai green curry paste

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups (6 oz/180g) snow peas or sugar snap peas, strings removed

3 to 4 green onions (white and green parts), diagonally cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) piecesPREPARATION

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of ginger, and sauté for 1 minute. Add chicken and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a bowl and set aside.

2. Pour chicken broth and evaporated milk into skillet. Stir in curry paste, 2 tablespoons of the basil, cilantro, the remaining 1 teaspoon ginger, coconut extract, if using, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 8 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

3. Return the chicken and juices to the skillet. Add snow peas and green onions; simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons basil.







NUTRITION INFO
213 Calories
5.2g Fat
1.2g Saturated fat
30g Protein
9g Carbohydrate
2g Fiber
441mg Sodium



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

LO CAL CREAM CHEESE BROWNIES!!!




Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:1 hr 55 min
makes:24 brownies
4 points


OK- so this is kinda high in points... but sometimes you just want to indulge and this is the kinda thing that makes you feel satisfied- make them for a party or picnic- or freeze them in individual servings for a great treat now and then.. I sometimes NEED to make something that doesn't feel so "healthy" LOL


Filling

1 package (8 oz) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla

Brownies

1 box (1 lb 2.3 oz) Betty Crocker® fudge brownie mix
1/4 cup canola oil or unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup water
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in remaining filling ingredients until well blended.

2. In large bowl, stir brownie mix, oil, water, 4 egg whites and 1 teaspoon vanilla with spoon until well blended. Spread in pan.

3. Spoon filling mixture over brownie batter in pan. Cut through filling mixture and batter with knife several times for marbled design. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

4. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until toothpick inserted in brownie 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean or almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. For 24 brownies, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Nutritional Information


1 Brownie: Calories 160 (Calories from Fat 50); Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 5mg; Sodium 125mg; Total Carbohydrate 22g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 17g); Protein 2g % Daily Value*: Vitamin A 2%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 4% Exchanges: 1/2 Starch; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2 MyPyramid Servings: 1 tsp Fats & Oils *% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just a Silly Question?

So today is a little slow.. and I am thinking very random thoughts. The last thought that popped in my head was... If I had to choose one favorite snack food/dessert item and never could have any other what would it be?



EASY PEASY!!!



ICE CREAM!!



What is the one snack food or dessert that you could eat for the rest of your life? (giving up all others)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Just GO!!

This week I wanted to walk- but never did. Why? Not real sure, hot, busy and those excuses that we all want to use from time to time. So I figured out reasons why.. It all comes down to time.

One of the main reasons people give for not walking is that they don't have the time. It may be a challenge but it is possible! You just need to think creatively and remember that even very short walks can add up throughout the course of the day.

Here are some easy strategies:

Make an early date with yourself: Squeeze in a 10-minute walk around breakfast, before the day's events catch up with you.

Walk to a nearby store instead of driving.

Walking the dog? Keep track of your actual striding time and try to get in at least 10 minutes per walk.

Heading to the mall? Put on your walking shoes before you go — then park an extra 100 yards from the entrance, and take a lap or two around the mall before you start shopping.

Make walking part of your daily commute: In the morning, walk to your train or bus stop — or get off the bus a few blocks early and walk to your office, then get off the elevator a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way.

Take a 10-minute walk on your lunch hour.

Got a meeting? Brainstorm ideas with a co-worker while walking around the block, or strolling together through the halls of your office. You may find your thoughts flow better.

Take a walk after dinner. Ask family members to come along. It might be a welcome change from the same old TV shows!

Remember, your goal is to accumulate walks at a moderately brisk pace. Even five minutes count. How about now?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Spicy Black Bean Burgers



Happy Fourth of July!!!


3 POINT BURGER


Try adding crushed red pepper flakes for extra spice!








Who needs beef when a bean burger is this good and this easy? Serve on whole-wheat buns with your favorite fixings. It will be a tasty way to celebrate the holiday!



Takes under 30 minutes
Makes 4 servings
INGREDIENTS

15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

scallions, chopped

egg white

tablespoon chili powder OR 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon dried oregano



1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs



2 tablespoons cornmeal



1 tablespoon olive oil PREPARATION



1. Combine black beans, scallions, egg white and chili powder in a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend to a chunky puree. Add breadcrumbs and pulse once or twice to blend. Transfer the processor bowl to the refrigerator to chill the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes.



2. With wet hands, form bean mixture into 4 patties. Dust both sides lightly with cornmeal.



3. Heat the olive oil in a heavy, well-seasoned skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the patties and cook on the first side for 5 minutes. Turn over carefully and cook 3 or 4 minutes longer, until browned.








NUTRITIONAL INFO
PER SERVING
175 Calories
5g Fat
0.6g Saturated fat
0g Trans Fat
6.5g Protein
31g Carbohydrate
6g Fiber
496mg Sodium

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Weigh IN!!!

I did a great job this week! I lost 2.0 pounds for a total lost of 31.4. I am almost half way to goal. I can't wait until I have lost more weight than I have left to lose to reach my goal. I know this blog and all of you have helped me so much- so I just want to say THANK YOU!!! I have never lasted this long before on any program and I can see that this time I am going to meet my goals!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Red, White and Blueberry Crisp - 2 points!


2 cup(s) strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup(s) uncooked old fashioned oats
2 tbsp unpacked brown sugar
2 tbsp light butter, melted
1/2 cup(s) lite whipped topping

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a small bowl, toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar; set aside. In another small bowl, toss strawberries with remaining tablespoon of granulated sugar; set aside.
In a third small bowl, stir together oats, brown sugar and butter. Spread mixture in a single layer on a sheet pan; bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
Spread blueberries and strawberries in an 8 x 8-inch glass dish, alternating to create stripes. (Or prepare in individual serving bowls like we did here.) Sprinkle with oat topping, decorate with whipped topping and serve. Yields 8 servings.
Notes:
Retain the crispness of the oat topping by sprinkling it on the fruit just before serving.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fabulous Frugal Fourth of July Menus




From the Weight Watchers Website- Great article and tips for WW budget friendly 4th of July. Too great of an article not to share..


Whether you host a July 4th gathering every year or are planning a spur-of-the-moment party, we’ve got the expert lowdown on how to maximize your budget with tips to keep costs down and flavor up. Plus get ideas for a simple, healthy and delicious menu for under $10 per person.
Hosting a festive get-together can be tons of fun. Sticking to a tight budget? Well…not so much. Here’s how you can save without scrimping on flavor, fun and style. Strategies for saving. One obvious way to reduce your own expenses is to take people up on their offer when they ask “What can I bring?” Even if you didn’t intend to have a potluck, don’t turn down a friend who says she’ll bring her signature dessert or something to drink. Just remember to send a thank-you note after the party.


Another money trap people fall into is over-buying ingredients and supplies. It’s fine to have leftovers — if you’ll eat them yourself. But don’t grab extra food off the store shelves “just in case” you might need it. Figure out in advance exactly how much you’ll need per person and stick to that game plan. Consider how you’ll serve. One way to encourage caloric frugality among your guests — even those who aren’t watching their weight — is to serve food buffet-style in one area, and set up seating in another spot far from the food table so people aren’t constantly tempted, says nutritionist Ellie Krieger, MS, RD, author of The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life (Taunton). “This helps people manage their portions while staying satisfied — and helps keep costs down, too.”


Another tactic for a smaller party? Avoid buffets and family-style set-ups altogether and dole out the food yourself by making everyone a plate, says Krieger. Hunt for bargains. One of the easiest ways to get the most bang for your buck is to use ingredients that are seasonal and fresh, says Krieger. They’ll be cheaper and taste better, too. Scour farmer’s markets and pick up whatever looks the best — and has the lowest price. Also think of ways you can use farmer’s market ingredients in multiple courses if they’re an especially good deal. For instance, strawberries can play a supporting role in salads (they’re delicious with spinach tossed with olive oil, a little red wine vinegar and a touch of sugar) as well as feature in berry parfaits for dessert. When you’re shopping, “be flexible with your plan,” says Weight Watchers.com nutritionist and recipes editor Leslie Fink, MS, RD. “If you see a great sale item that you didn’t think about serving, change your menu to include it — the savings will be worth the last-minute shifting.” Don’t forget other common-sense strategies like checking circulars for deals, even if it means going to more than one store — especially for savings on big-ticket items like meat.


Hit up warehouse clubs for bulk savings. Most offer free sample one-day memberships if you don’t already have one, or rope in a friend who’s a member to shop with. The bonus here is that you can split agreed-upon bulk items so you don’t end up with way more than you need. Bulk up with veggies. Most people come to party expecting some sort of meat main course, and there’s no reason to disappoint your guests even if you’re on a budget. The trick is to keep portions small and round them out with tasty veggies. For instance, thread just two or three small pieces of chicken on a kabob among four slices of pepper, onions, zucchini or mushrooms. Serve tacos with a homemade cabbage slaw and cucumber salsa on the side. Kick off the meal with a huge salad tossed with an irresistible vinaigrette.


Forgo bottled beverages. Go gourmet — and cheap! — by serving beverages in pitchers and dispensers you already own, and providing guests with whatever cups and glasses are in your cupboards. Spike iced water with some fruit slices (lemon, orange, melon) or berries. Brew homemade iced tea, suggests Krieger — you could even mix in crushed peaches or other fruit from your farmer's market loot. Get a couple of cheap bottles of seltzer to give guests the option to fizz-ify their drinks. If you want to serve alcohol, make a fruity sangria with boxed wine — much cheaper than individual bottles of beer for a crowd.


Mix-and-Match Menu


Here are some healthy, crowd-pleasing food ideas courtesy of Ellie Krieger. Use them as a starting point for your own menu. All these recipes serve 4, but can be multiplied for a crowd.


Garlic white bean dip and whole-wheat pita chips: 71¢ per serving* Purée drained and rinsed canned white beans (from a 15oz can) with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, the juice of half a fresh lemon and a few cloves of roasted garlic; season with salt and pepper. (To roast garlic: Cut the tops off a bulb of garlic, toss with a little olive oil and bake cut-side up in a 350° oven for 25-30 minutes or until soft). Serve with homemade whole-wheat pita chips: Split 4 whole-wheat pita breads and cut each into 6 wedges. Brush with olive oil and bake in a 350° oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.


Grilled pizzas: $2.38 per serving These can work as a starter or main dish. Buy refrigerated fresh pizza dough (1lb) at the supermarket and top with whatever you want: tomato sauce, extra grilled veggies, herbs and just a little bit of cheese. Cook until the crusts puff and start to brown.


Grilled zucchini roll-ups: $1.52 per serving Cut 3 medium zucchini lengthwise into thin strips. Brush with oil and grill until tender. Meanwhile, mix together 1 1/2 ounces goat cheese, a tablespoon or two of minced fresh parsley or basil, and season with salt and pepper. Spread each slice with a teaspoon of the cheese mixture, top with a basil leaf or two, and roll up.

Steak tacos with all the fixings: $4.30 per serving Rub 1 1/4 lb top sirloin with a mix of chili powder, cinnamon, garlic, cayenne pepper and salt (or other spices you have on hand). Grill to desired doneness. Slice thin on the bias and serve with flour tortillas (2 per person), shredded cabbage, chopped tomatoes and red onion and light sour cream. On the side, serve a homemade avocado salsa. Toss together chunks of an avocado and seeded cucumber, the juice of a lime, a small diced red onion, chopped jalapeños to taste and a couple of teaspoons of chopped cilantro; season with salt and pepper.


Grilled skinless chicken thighs: $3 per serving (half that if you already have the rub ingredients) Rub 2lb skinless chicken thighs with a mix of grainy mustard and honey before cooking (spray the grill with cooking spray or rub with a little oil to prevent sticking). Cook on a moderate part of the grill to avoid charring the outside before the inside is cooked.


Pesto potato salad: $2.32 per serving Boil 1lb small red potatoes and toss with 1/3 cup of your favorite light homemade or store-bought pesto and a diced bell pepper or a few ribs of celery.


Grilled fruit: $1.40 per serving Bananas (unpeeled and sliced lengthwise) are great on the grill, as are halved stone fruits like peaches, plums and apricots. Top them with a drizzle of honey and serve with a small scoop of light ice cream.


Menu suggestions:


Bean dip and chips, steak tacos with avocado salsa, potato salad, grilled fruit: $8.73/person


Grilled pizzas, chicken thighs, potato salad, grilled fruit: $9.10/person


Bean dip and chips, zucchini roll-ups, grilled pizzas, potato salad, grilled fruit: $8.33/person (vegetarian option, too)


*Prices reflect the average cost of cheapest product options from ShopRite.com, Peapod.com and FreshDirect.com

Great Sports-Bella Giveaway!


I thought I would share this great give away I found.... Here's the link http://tinyurl.com/kpt2gz


Grill Cheat Sheet from Weight Watchers

From the Weight Watchers Website-- MMM.. tasty grilling cheat sheet!





Let's start with the classic cookout icon; the burger. Eating one is hard to resist, but since you're probably going to slap a slice of cheese on it and have it on a bun, you should at least try for leaner cuts to keep your POINTS® values under control. "If you're looking for a good meaty chew with many fewer calories than the real thing," says Seres, "a portobello mushroom brushed with a little Italian dressing is fantastic."




Pick your patty:


Patty type Size POINTS® values


Regular ground beef 3 oz 6 POINTS


Lean ground beef 3 oz 4 POINTS


Regular ground turkey or chicken 3 oz 5 POINTS

Lean ground turkey or chicken 3 oz 3 POINTS

Soy burger 3 oz 2 POINTS

Portobello mushroom 3 oz 0 POINTS

Lean Bison burger 3 oz 3 POINTS

The key to grilling fowl is to keep it simple. You probably already know that skinless is a better option. With skin, a piece of chicken gains roughly 1 POINTS value, depending on its size. Sauce it up with a dollop of honey mustard, if you like; it won't cost you.



Choose your chicken:

Chicken Size POINTS® values
Breast, boneless with skin

and barbecue sauce 3 oz 4 POINTS

Breast, boneless and skinless 3 oz 3 POINTS

Drumstick, boneless and skinless 3 oz 4 POINTS

Drumstick, with skin and bone 3 oz 5 POINTS

Thigh, with skin and bone 3 oz 5 POINTS


Once you've stoked your coals to perfection, odds are you're ready for some red meat. Instead of a heavy slab, opt for the recommended serving size of 3 ounces. "Your grocer or butcher should be able to help you to figure out which cuts are lower in fat and give you a primer on how to shop for leaner meats," says Seres. Go with a healthier cut and make it more savory by the bite. Brushing a steak with sauces and marinades adds loads of taste and little to no POINTS values.



Make it meaty

Steak Size POINTS® values

Filet mignon 3 oz 7 POINTS

Trimmed filet mignon 3 oz 4 POINTS


Porterhouse 3 oz 7 POINTS


Trimmed Porterhouse 3 oz 6 POINTS

Sirloin 3 oz 5 POINTS

Trimmed sirloin 3 oz 4 POINTS

Lean flank steak 3 oz 4 POINTS

T-bone 3 oz 7 POINTS

Trimmed T-bone 3 oz 5 POINTS


If you're interested in giving seafood a spin, check out our marine-life breakdown.




Succulent seafood


Fish Size POINTS® values


Shark steak 4 oz 4 POINTS

Snapper filet 4 oz 5 POINTS

Salmon steak 4 oz 3 POINTS

Swordfish steak 4 oz 4 POINTS

Tilapia 4 oz 3 POINTS

Tuna steak 4 oz 3 POINTS

Shrimp 4 oz 3 POINTS

Scallop 4 oz 3 POINTS


Keep yourself honest. Presumably, the cookout is going to be your big meal for the day. Here's a realistic scenario to help you understand how your POINTS values can add up to a reasonable total. Have a lean ground beef burger on a whole-wheat bun with a slice of fat-free American and it's only 7 POINTS values. Add a chicken drumstick garnished with one of our sauce selections, and there's another 5. If there's a round-two, switch things up with a seasoned snapper filet, and pile on some juicy grilled veggies. That makes for a a summer holiday grill-fest that rings in at an admittedly high, but still respectable 17 POINTS values. Planning on being hungry for more? Make that decision beforehand and set aside the extra room in your daily POINTS Target and weekly POINTS allowances.



Sit and savorDon't let yourself get distracted. Sure, all your friends are around and there are a lot of conversations and activities going on, but the more you focus on your plate, the less likely it is that you'll overeat. "It's easy to lose track of how much you're eating at a cookout if you're focusing a lot on the socializing rather than the food," Seres says. "Instead of walking around with a full plate talking to people, find a nice quiet place to sit down so you can really concentrate on the taste of the food."



Don't beat yourself upWe all know that cooking out, especially for a holiday, means you're not likely to plot all your POINTS values and calculate everything correctly. You might even go over your daily POINTS Target. But don't get down on yourself. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Apricot Barbeque Nirvana!

I have been doing a lot of recipe searching because we are getting ready to go to the beach this week and I want to have some easy, good "on plan" meals figures out. I came across this one today in my email from WW. It's no cook and that's my kind of recipe when at the beach. It sounds too good not to share! Enjoy!

About the No-Cook Apricot Barbecue Sauce. Here’s a fruit-based barbecue sauce that’s perfect for chicken breasts, turkey burgers or grilled salmon fillets. Best of all, you don’t have to heat up the stove to make this backyard favorite. Want it spicier? Add several dashes of bottled hot red pepper sauce such as Tabasco.


No-Cook Apricot Barbecue Sauce
Makes 14 servings
POINTS® value 1 per serving

Ingredients

1 cup all-fruit apricot spread
1/2 cup bottled chili sauce, such as Heinz
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Instructions

Place all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor; blend or process until smooth. To store, scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks. Serving size: 2 tablespoons.

Frozen Strawberry Layer Cake



From the Weight Watchers Website! Happy Fourth! Enjoy!

Frozen Strawberry Layer Cake

POINTS® Value: 3Servings: 12Preparation Time: 15 minCooking Time: 0 min Level of Difficulty: Easy

Beat the heat with this sure-fire summer pleaser. We used vanilla yogurt but chocolate or strawberry would be tasty, too.
Ingredients

1 1/2 pound(s) strawberries, hulled and sliced (about 6 cups)
1/2 cup(s) sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp table salt
12 oz store bought angel food cake, cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 cup(s) fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt
Instructions

To make strawberry sauce, combine strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a saucepan, stirring over medium heat until the sugar melts and the liquid comes to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes. Use the back of a wooden spoon to mash about half the berries against the side of the pan. Cool to room temperature and use immediately or refrigerate, covered, up to 2 days.
Spoon the frozen yogurt into a large bowl and mash it with the back of a wooden spoon until soft and spreadable.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with one third of the cake slices, cutting any slices to fit the shape of the pan. Top with half the frozen yogurt, spreading it to the sides. Spread 2/3 cup strawberry sauce over the frozen yogurt, then top with half the remaining cake slices, again cutting any to fit. Spread the remainder of the frozen yogurt over the cake, top with 2/3 cup strawberry sauce, and finally seal the top with the remaining cake slices. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze at least 6 hours or up to 3 days. Let the cake stand at room temperature 10 minutes before unmolding. Slice into 12 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Does This Really Work?

What Has Worked For You In Terms Of Diet And Fitness?

One thing I need for you today is think about what has worked for you in terms of weight loss and diets, and comment it to me. Weight loss is a very personal thing, that you need to tailor whatever diet you do to your own unique life. What have you done, what has worked for you, what stopped working for you. Things like that. Thinking about the successes can provide some insight for all of us.

Having the right things in the fridge is always helpful. I am a "grabber" when it comes to hunger. I grab at the quickest thing possible and if you have fresh fruit, veggies or fiber filled snacks on hand or things like yogurt, you can bring it along with you. Today, there is nothing to "grab" that is healthy, so I just ate a cookie. I know I should not have eaten the cookie, but it was there. Having the right things available is half the battle. Hope this was helpful.

Grocery tip-- If you live in an area that has Harris Teeter they are currently doing super doubles (through Tuesday, June 30) They will double any coupon up to $1.98. All Morningstar products are on sale for $2.99. Here is a link to a coupons for $1. It doubles to $2 and you pay only $0.99 per package of Morningstar product!

If you are craving a great low fat, low calorie ice cream another great deal this week is on Blue Bunny. My favorite flavor is Super Fudge Brownie, 2 points per 1/2 cup (120 calories, 3 g fat,3 g dietary fiber). It is BOGO at, original price is $5.99. With this link you can click coupon tab and get a $1 off coupon and that will buy you the 1.75 quart container for $1.. Happy Shopping!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hungry Girl Peanut Butter Cookies


I can't wait to try these... MMMM... Big Soft Peanut Butter Cookies. From Hungry Girl, of course...
Now if I could only get my hands on some Better'n Peanut Butter!
These should freeeze well to have a handy yummy snack when needed... if my kids don't eat them first that is!

HG's Peanut Butter Oatmeal Softies
You Big Softy...
Giant, chewy, peanut butter oatmeal cookies straight from the HG HQ. WOOHOO!
Ingredients:
3/4 cup regular oats (not instant)
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown), room temperature
2 tbsp. no-sugar-added applesauce
2 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Dash salt
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, peanut butter, Splenda, butter, applesauce, egg substitute, and vanilla extract, and mix thoroughly with a wire whisk or fork.Add flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir until completely mixed and smooth.Add oats and mix until they are thoroughly coated with the batter.Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon batter onto the sheet in 6 evenly spaced mounds. Using the back of a spoon, spread and flatten batter into circles about 3 1/2 inches wide.Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean.Remove baking sheet from the oven, and allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the sheet. Then slide parchment paper onto a cool surface, and let cool COMPLETELY. (Really, they taste best once they've totally cooled.) Enjoy!MAKES 6 SERVINGS

Serving Size: 1 large cookieCalories: 140Fat: 3.25Sodium: 160mgCarbs: 23gFiber: 2gSugars: 7gProtein: 4g
POINTS® value 3*HG Alternative!
If you absolutely cannot get your hands on Better'n Peanut Butter, use regular reduced-fat peanut butter. Then each cookie will have 170 calories, 6.25g fat, and 2.5g fiber (POINTS® value 3*). That's still WAY better than the average PB cookie!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Trip to Charleston, SC






Well I have been away all week visiting the charming and beautiful city of Charleston. If you are a foodie this place has more tempting deli's, restaurant's and cafes than you could visit in a month. that brings me to my weight loss journey... Well even after all of this dining delights I still managed to lose .6 pounds this week. I am going to attribute that to all of the walking I did. We walked everywhere and it didn't even seem like a lot of walking even in the 90 degree heat because there was so much to see.
We stayed at the Mills House Hotel which was beautiful. They offered free room service breakfasts which one was a healthy start breakfast with fresh fruit (cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, grapes and orange quarters) with your choice of cereal, skim milk, fresh squeezed OJ and coffee. It was a great way to start the day.
In the afternoon the hotel also offers 2 glasses complimentary wine and your choice of hot appetizer, either baked brie served with strawberry chipolte preserves or a vegetable goat cheese quesadilla. I had some of each (different days) and each was very good.
We spent one day at the Isle of Palm Beach. The water was almost too warm at 85 degrees and a storm had come through several days before and the ocean water was very cloudy. It was a nice beach and we really enjoyed it.


Philip Simmons, whose skill with the hammer and anvil elevated him from a humble working man to an artisan widely recognized as a national treasure, died Monday night. He was 97. The city was covered in white ribbons on every piece of iron he made for it!

The other two days were spent antiquing, checking out the open air market, seeing the aquarium and just general sight seeing. We enjoyed a ghost walk tour one evening that was enough to scare the pee out of you, luckily I had used the facilities right before it left!

Ghost tour pics.. SPOOKY!

Circular Congregational Church Cemetery







The Oak Steakhouse was our favorite restaurant of the ones we visited. Great menu and wonderful food, way too much temptation when eating only 24 points per day, needless to say I went a little over. I chose the Spagattini with Spring Vegetable Primavera which was a tomato, asparagus, zucchini, squash, lemon zest, onions, garlic, fresh basil and olive oil type lasagna. It was good and I felt good about my choice. My son had a 17 oz filet hamburger- I have never seen a burger this size in my life! He couldn't eat it all but somehow still had room for dessert. Once I saw these amazing deserts any WW thoughts flew out of my brain. Look at that chocolate cake and the cupcakes are served with a root beer float shooter- too cute!
I ate dinner at Bubba Gumps one evening and ordered the peel and eat shrimp and a side salad- it was really good, I got half seasoned Cajun and half garlic, I liked both but preferred the Cajun. great dinner, low points! Really a fun place to take the kids, they had hula hoops and rubber duck races in a "stream" at the front of the outdoor eating area.

I am really going to give it my all this week, I am proud of myself for balancing this last trip and not gaining. I am going to walk more at home this week, apparently I must burn a lot of calories that way!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

BAD BAD BLOGGER!

I have so much to write and not enough time right now. Went to Charleston this week to see a friend and had a blast. I have great photos and great food stories to share (some good choices and some BAD choices) all in all was a successful diet week. Can't wait to post more later- til then have a great afternoon!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Does going in the ocean make you gain weight?

So I am back... and I have been thinking that maybe the 2 pounds my scale is saying I am up is water weight. Now I can rationalize this. I spent a lot of time in the ocean. the ocean is filled with salt water. Salt makes you retain water weight and that is what I am going with... LOL
No seriously. I had a great time, did over indulge on occasion but really kept with WW (even tracking) throughout my trip. It was hard. I do love the fact that before I would have just eaten anything and everything but this time, I thought before I put things in my mouth. For instance, the great cookies they just leave on the check in counter at the hotel.. I didn't ea any this time. Even though they had just come from the oven and smelled great, it was more important for me to think about my goal than to eat the cookie. All in all, even if I have a slight gain at tomorrow's weigh in, I am very proud of myself!
So I wanted to share the scavenger hunt I sent my friend to help her celebrate her birthday.. She is newly single and although I couldn't go with her (she is visiting her family) I sent this great scavenger hunt to another friend so they could have some fun activities while they went out tonight.. here is a sampling. I think they will have a blast..

1. Get the bartender to give you the phone number of his cutest unmarried, friend. Call his friend and ask him his middle name. 5 bonus points if he meets your group for a drink.

2. Get a photo with a bald man that has at least 2 tattoo’s

3. Drink a shot of something hat is lit on fire with a fireman (like sambuca)

4. Get a photo with a male nurse (2 bonus points) or a doctor taking your pulse.

5. Do a jello shot with any man that can do the moonwalk.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

SNACKS Giveaway Winner....

The SNACKS giveawy winner is: Nikki from Muffin Tops and Bubble Bottoms!

Congratulations Nikki!

Today was a beautiful day! It was also my oldest daughter's birthday! We had a fabulous dinner, her favorite foods.. Roasted Garlic, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and jalapenos served with chipolte chicken breasts and whole grain penne pasta! YUM and YUM. I was glad she chose something that I could eat and not feel guilty about.. I did have a small piece of cake but nothing major.
I am off to the beach for a couple days but will be back by weigh in day Friday- this is a big challenge for me - the first time I am going to "watch" myself on a vacation- big lifestyle adjustment- but I am happy I am sticking with it! Have a great week and I will talk to you soon!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

4 POUND WEIGHT LOSS-- YAHOO!!!!!

So I have worked so hard for the last two weeks, and if you remember last week I was very upset because I only lost 1 pound- Well, ladies and gentlemen, this was a new week,,, a great week and all of my hard work finally paid off in SCALE numbers--- I lost 4 pounds, that's right, I am very excited, motivated and just keeping on with what I am doing.
Now do I expect to lose 4 pounds next week? I would love that, but I am realistic, I am aiming for 2, but we'll see how the week goes.
Anyone wanna challenge me to see who can lose the most this week (I'll probably lose a challenge- I just had a huge loss- but I'll take any motivation!) I'll be at the beach all week and really need to be pushed to not overindulge- come on, someone, anyone, make me work harder!!!
I'll be waiting to hear from you!

Don't forget- last day to enter SNACKS Giveaway!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gotta Get me some CRUNCHIES


Today, while at the pool with the kids, I had the opportunity to try a new (and now favorite!) 1 point snack (serving size 3/4 cup, 2.5 servings per bag). I had never even heard of this until today nut you can bet that I'll be looking for it.. CRUNCHIES! Cute name huh? It is really appropriate, but I would say Crunchies and Sweeties and Amazingies too.

I got the chance to sample some Crunchies Food Company Blueberries. They were out of this world and now that I found their website, my only problem is deciding what to order. So many options, so many great low point snack. What's a girl on to do? I wish I could place the $100 order for free shipping but I gotta start small. I know I am getting blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and salted edamame. and maybe sweet peas.. I must stop, but really they were that good!

If anyone has had these, let me know your favorites so I can (try to) figure out my order.

Tomorrow is weigh-in (actually I guess it's now today) and I think I did well, let ya know tomorrow.
And don't forgeties, only a few more days until my SNACKS giveaway is over...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's with Microwave Popcorn Nutritional Info and Orville Redenbacher's Buttery Salt and Cracked Pepper Popcorn


My question is have any of you EVER eaten microwave popcorn before popping it? For most of us the answer (I think) is NO! So please, please, someone, anyone explain to me why the freaking nutritional info is for the unpopped kernels and to find out all of the info after you pop it you must read super tiny print that has been posted at the bottom of the nutritional info.. If anything shouldn't this be the other way around.. Have the info for popped and then have the alternate info for the people that eat the greasy unpopped kernels straight from the bag? I am sure popcorn labeling should fall under the majority rules kinda thing...



What brings me to the this crazy rant is my current favorite afternoon munchy snack.... Orville Redenbacher's Natural Buttery Salt & Cracked Pepper Popcorn. I have been eating a mini bag in the afternoon for 2 points. It is great. The spice of the cracked pepper builds after each bite. I hope you can see how much pepper is actually in the popcorn in the photo. I am a real fan of pepper and most spicy foods/flavors but this is one of my favorites.
I also wanted to share my other current food obsession... Caprese Salad.. I have eaten this for lunch three days in a row. I love tomatoes when they taste so fresh. My garden is only producing cherry and grape tomatoes right now but the bigger ones are growing, but it will still be a week or so before any of them are ready. I picked these up at the grocery store.. locally grown tomatoes and they taste really really good. I have been eating 2 tomatoes topped with an ounce of fresh mozzarella and some fresh basil (from my herb garden), a little drizzle of EVOO and it is addicitng. I could eat this for every meal- sooo good!

I guess the red plate doesn't show off the great color of the tomato, but trust me it is perfectly tomatoey.

I was wondering if any of you have any other ideas for tomatoes or zucchini.. which I will have an abundance of soon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

SNACKS Giveaway!!!


I have really stocked up on snack food lately. The kind of grab and go snacks you need in the summer for the pool or park. I realized how many different types of snacks I had and wanted to share them with you.... SO

I am hosting my first giveaway!! I have seen of many of these on other sites and I want to do one too!

Included in the giveaway is one package each of:

100 Calorie Pack Oreo Cakesters- YUM!!

100 Calorie Pack Oreo Snack Cakes- (see a trend yet?)

100 Calorie South Beach Living Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bar

Fiber One Oats and Peanut Butter Bar

100 Calorie Pack Ritz Snack Mix..

Yes... The trend is Chocolate, Peanut Butter and a little salty crunch..

So you wanna win.. here's what you do:

1. Follow my blog =)
2. Leave me a comment telling me telling me you're following my blog and which product you are most excited to try and your email address where I can contact you if you are the winner.
3. link back to this giveaway in a blog post (for an extra entry)

The giveaway will end on sunday June 14th.

I will use Random.org to choose a winner. Good Luck!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Low Cal Mojito, Sunburn and other Ramblings


I had a spectacular Sunday. Went to the pool all afternoon and actually got a little too much sun.


Ouch!!!!!

I took the sunscreen with me and had all intentions of using it... but got side tracked. May have had something to do with my new lo-cal mojito recipe below. It was still a wonderful and relaxing day - even with the sunburn.



MMMM... Tasty!

I had taken chicken to marinate before I left. I have always liked all of Lawry's Marinades, but the one we are currently addicted to is the new flavor Buffalo BBQ. It is absolutely wonderful. It has a great flavor and a great spicy background. It doesn't impale your taste buds with heat but gives a fabulous buffalo taste. I marinate the chicken in it and then while I am grilling it brush a little more on each side.


It's a 30 minute marinade and really does have an overnight marinated flavor in only 30 minutes. I let mine marinate for several hours while I was gone, but on evenings when I don't have hours the 30 minutes gives it the same great taste as if the chicken had soaked it up for 12 hours. Simple,easy and great tasting- my kind of dinner.

My family gobbles this up and it was almost all gone before I could get a picture.. but here is the remnants of our chicken... so good. This picture is not the best but before I could snap another one my son had gobbled it up.

I love mojito's but all that simple syrup was adding up into big points, so after several experiments I have come up with the perfect lo-cal mojito! It is so easy and delish!

Weight Watcher's Chic Mojito for 12 oz serving

Equal parts Crystal Light Lemonade and Sierra Mist Free
1 TBL Splenda
1/2 lime
several sprigs of fresh mint
1 shot rum

Slice lime and put in glass. Add mint and splenda and smash-you can use a wooden spoon if you don't have a smasher (what is that thingy called anyhow?) Add in Crystal Light Lemonade, Sierra Mist Free, Rum and Ice.

The only part of it that has calories would be the rum, which is usually about 80 calories, so 2 points for the whole drink. Great way to have this great drink for 6-8 points less than the sugar laden style.

In other weight loss news, I am down 3 pounds since my Friday weigh in. So I am feeling great. I guess my body is responding to all my hard work, but on it's own schedule, not mine. Either way it feels great. I am going to enjoy another day at the pool with the kids, SLATHERED in sunscreen.. SPF 70!!!!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt.. The Good and The Ugly!


While purusing the yogurt offerings at my local grocer, Harris Teeter, I ran across something new, different. I am used to the same old, same old when it comes to yogurt, very rarely is there a new flavor... Several of these new flavors caught my eye, one imparticular I struggled with whether to try or not.... Dannon Light & Fit Watermelon, Limited Edition, (which turns out to be a good thing). I really thought that this would not be good, but I am trying to expand my palate.. and for .60 cents, why not..

I was really hoping it was the kind of thing that just seemed gross in my head.. after one bite I knew that it was... GROSS that is... Awful, couldn't eat a second bite. A very watery watermelon flavor but the texture of yogurt. Not a good combination..


I also purchased Limited Edition, Dannon Light & Fit Pineapple Coconut and another new flavor, Key Lime. I really enjoyed the Pineapple Coconut, think pina colada, but less calories. Quite tasty and hope this one sticks around.

The last "new" flavor I purchased was Dannon Light & Fit Key Lime. I thought it was good, but not as good as Yoplait's Key Lime Pie. Although Dannon Light & Fit has 20 less calories than Yoplait Light, I feel that those 20 calories are worth the taste and texture difference... Yoplait is much creamier in my opinion.

So Dannon Light & Fit is only winning 1 out of 3, with the flavors I tried. After checking their website I noticed there are 3 other new flavors. They other new flavors are Cherry, Mixed Berry ( I am having a hard time believeing they didn't already have these tow flavors- doesn't every yogurt come in mixed berry?) and Pomegranate Berry. I am not rushing out for the first two- but I'll have my eye out for the Pomegranate Berry.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Most inspirational comment ever.... Thanks Lori!

So earlier today I was complaining and whining about only losing one pound. I was discouraged because I worked so hard... All day I have just been BLAH!! I ate 2 oreo's ) double stuff- 4 points a little while ago and was thinking- who cares- it won't matter... then I read my comments and got the best bit of inspiration from Lori at What I'm Eating and No Pink Weights and I fell much better- even proud of my 1 pound loss! Thanks Lori- you are the best!

Well here is what she left for me....

"Hello, do you know me? If you don't you should. I'm a pound of fat, and I'm the happiest pound of fat that you would ever want to meet. Want to know why? It's because no one ever wants to lose me; I'm Only One Pound, just a pound. Everyone wants to lose three pounds, five pounds or fifteen pounds, but never only one, so I just stick around and happily keep you fat. Then I add to myself ever so slyly so that you never seem to notice it, that is until I've grown to ten, twenty or even more pounds in weight. Yes, it's fun being Only One Pound of fat, left to do as I please. So, when you weigh in, keep right on saying "Oh, I only lost one pound." ( as if that were such a terrible thing!) For you see, if you do this you'll encourage others to keep me around because they will think I'm not worth losing. And I love being around you - your arms, your legs, your chin, your hips and every part of you. Happy Days!! After all, I'm Only One Pound of fat!!!"

Isn't that great? One pound is onederful!!!

This SUCKS!!!... 1 pound WEIGHT LOSS!

I have done EVERYTHING right this week.. everything. I tracked every morsel I put in my mouth. I ate a variety of foods, ya know, mixed my regular same old, same old up in the food department. Exercised more than I have in years... and I am still a little sore from the new activity. It's the kind of sore that makes you feel good because you know that your body is changing.

All of that... and I weigh in this morning and I lost 1 pound!! ONE POUND, are you freaking kidding me. I worked my ass off and ONE POUND??? I know, it's better than gaining but come on scale gods.. gimme something more for my effort. This sucks!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Carribean Chicken


I was searching for recipe's on Foodbuzz and came across this one from "Foodie on Weight Watchers". She was kind enough to agree to let me share this. It really looks good and I can't wait to try it.

Caribbean Chicken

Modified from Clean Eating Magazine May/June 2009

4 Servings4 Points/Serving (Maybe. This is the points value of the original recipe according to the calories printed in the magazine.)

Marinade:
½ cup pineapple juice
3 cloves of garlic, through the press
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
zest and juice of one lime
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Fruit Salsa:
1 cup pineapple, chopped
1 cup mango, chopped
zest and juice of half a lime (slice the other half for serving)
1 splash of pineapple juice
1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine the ingredients for the marinade and place in a large plastic bag and marinate overnight.

2. Combine the ingredients for the fruit salsa and store overnight in the refrigerator.

3. Prepare the grill and cook the chicken.

4. Serve each chicken breast with ½ cup of the fruit.

UMMM... GOOD!

Tips for Eating Healthy on Vacation


The last day of school is upon us and that makes me think about summer traveling... Vacations.. and how I am going to keep on track during these trips. I gained 20 pounds last summer. Eating out is my number one downfall. My family really enjoys fine dining- my 10 year old even made up a rap song about it..."I like fine dining, it's so divine, Morton's, Ruth Chris and New York Prime." So most evenings we will be dining out and I need to start thinking about how I can eat on vacation and still stay on track.

There are three reasons why eating in restaurants, as we tend to do most of the time while traveling, is so dangerous for your diet.

Restaurants often serve large portions, and we tend to eat more when more food is in front of us.
Restaurant menu items are often high in calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium and low in fiber.

At restaurants, you usually have no idea how many calories or grams of saturated fat are in the dishes you order.

Restaurant dining makes it difficult to track points. I tend to pad what I calculate with an extra point or to for the unknown ingredients.

I have done a little research and the top 5 tips I am going to use this summer are:


1. You don't have to clean your plate.... I have always been a member of the clean plate club, I really have to analyze my portions at meals in restaurants. There is always enough food for 2 meals on each plate. I am thinking about asking to have half of it wrapped before they bring it out and then take it with us for lunch the next day. Many restaurants we go to on vacation are ala carte style dining. This makes portions easier because we all share different items.
Desserts seem to materialize after every meal on vacation. And to make it worse, all the meals are little richer, and snacks are a little more frequent. But just because the food is there doesn't mean you have to eat it all. Slow down and consider what you're eating. WW gives you 35 discretionary points (and activity points). Think of these calories as your "fun" calories to be used for treats. Before you snack, decide whether you're truly hungry or just mindlessly noshing. Keep your discretionary and activity points in check by splitting your dessert with your family. Make the healthiest choices when you can, and take small portions when the meal choices are high calorie and out of your control.


(My waiter's are never this HOTT!! IF I get this one... I may be too busy looking at him to ask any questions!!)

2. Ask Your Waiter 4 Questions

Ask how a dish is prepared and served. Then, you can request that your selection be prepared or served differently, if necessary. For example, meats that are fried can often be ordered grilled instead.

Ask for sauces, gravies, and dressings to be served on the side so you can use a modest portion.
Ask that your entree be served with fresh vegetables (no butter or sauce, please) or a side salad instead of the usual french fries.

Request whole grains whenever possible. Some restaurants offer 100% whole-wheat bread and buns, whole-grain blend pasta, tortillas, and steamed brown rice.

3. Order Fruits and Veggies Every Chance You Get
Look for opportunities to order dishes that include high-nutrient, high-fiber fruits and veggies. Entree salads or side salads made with spinach or romaine lettuce are a great way to get your vegetables. Grilled or roasted veggies with a little EVOO are a great choice too. If you're ordering something like a shrimp or chicken quesadilla, you can ask the restaurant to add some grilled or roasted veggies to it, it will be filling and leave less room for dessert.


(This is what I want to look like-- someday, someday soon!)

4. Your shoes are made for walking
Ask about safe walking routes around your hotel or rental home, then lace up your shoes and get going! There's no better way than walking to see and really experience the area you're visiting. Plus, it's handy for burning off some of last night's dinner, too. Take advantage of the gyms. The place we stay at has a state of the art gym- that I have never been in. That will change this year.



5. Pack a snack....
When you're traveling, always keep a healthy snack on hand. The best combinations contain a little protein and a high fiber carbohydrate to keep you feeling full as long as possible. A trusty PB&J on whole wheat tucked in your carry-on bag will keep you cruising by the fat-filled (and expensive!) cinnamon buns in the airport. Unsalted nuts, fruits, and whole grain crackers are great for the car, and are real aces for keeping your stomach from rumbling while you're searching for lunch from somewhere healthier than the ubiquitous fast food place. There are so many great snack choices for healthy eating, my favorites are Kind Bars, Fiber One bars and Smart Food popcorn, all are in convenient single serve portions that are super easy to throw in my purse or beach bag.

Well next week is our first trip away from home- I am going to stick to these tips and get a lot of exercise and I am hoping that I can stay on program and continue to lose all summer.