Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fire and Ice!

Its official...we're a bunch of losers!  Some of us more than others, of course.  Chuck hit 10% of his weight lost this week...but I missed it by just 1/2 a pound (rats).  That's ok - I still had a loss, but not as big of one as I would have liked.  Our WW meeting had a lot of 'talkers', so the leader ran short of time and Chuck did not collect his award, but sweet man that he is, he said he preferred to wait until next week to collect it with me ;0)  Guess I had better have a good week this week.

We went to the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack yesterday to meet up with our kids & grandchild for dinner and to do some window shopping.  We had a great time!  We ate at a restaurant called Fire and Ice...there are only 6 in the country to date, but its a franchise, so keep an eye for one to open near you.  It was a really fun place to eat.  Check out their website for better photos than mine!

My favortite part of this restaurant was how your meal is prepared.  You visit the 'market place' where there is everything from pasta, raw veggies, steak, chicken, pork (an other meat choices) and a good variety of raw seafood to choose from...grab a metal bowl and fill it with whatever combo appeals to you.  Choose from a variety of 'sauces' that you put in a smaller separate bowl, which they add last minute as your food finishes cooking so it doesn't burn.  Proceed with your bowls to the grill where it is cooked to order:

Choose your food at the marketplace in the background...

Then bring your bowls to the grill, where the chefs prepare it for you.  They line your food up in front of you so you can keep an eye on it.  Sometimes a small peice of your neighbor's food makes its way to mingle with yours ;0)

These guys have 15 dinners cooking all at once, with room for more!  Very entertaining!

Mine is the one hiding under steam the thicker veggies, I think.

We tried a variety of things - one price for as much as you can eat!  The nice thing was the variety ~ I could fill my bowl with pea pods, string beans, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli (all 0 pointsplus) and when there was hardly any room remaining, I'd put about 3 oz of seafood on top.  On one visit to the marketplace I chose mahi mahi and shrimp with a side of teriaki sauce...the next visit was for shrimp and salmon with a side of orange-ginger sauce.  Both were great, but the first was my favorite!  You can ask the chefs to add some "heat" if you like, or there are additional seasonings at the table...these guys were great and constantly in motion.  The waitress brings brown rice and tortillas (they have a fajita sauce at the marketplace, too) to complete your meal.  Here are a few photos of some of our dishes:

My shrimp and mahi mahi with lots of veggies...

Chuck's plate - did I menton they also have a salad bar?

I think this was Erika's plate...

Jared's calimari - what's left of it...
And did I mention they make some awesome looking burgers, too?  Take a look at Wes' barbque bacon was huge!!
There were several bites missing at the time of this photo!
We finished by sharing a couple of their Fire & Ice chocolate fondues...large plates with a bowl of chocolate sauce surrounded by marshmallows, bananas, strawberries, kiwi, pound cake cubes and some whipped cream.  Enough spears for everyone to share.  Sorry, I forgot to snap a photo!

Overall, I have to say that the chefs were on fire...but the waitress not so much.  Definitely would try this place again...and they take reservations!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Eating light before our weigh-in!

Tomorrow is the big weigh-in.  Chuck and I are so close to our 10% weight loss award that we can 'taste it', so to speak.  So, like always, I want to be mindful of what we eat today so we don't sabotage ourselves on the scale.  We started out our day with shoveling our driveway (3 activity points for me!) - we had about 5" of new white stuff to deal with and it was pretty heavy.  Once inside, we fixed a really great, filling breakfast.  1/4 cup of leftover cooked potatoes, 1 Tbsp each of chopped onion and green pepper - stirred until warm in a fry pan coated with cooking spray.  To that I added two whole eggs and broke the yolks.  Once the eggs were done, I put some ketchup on it all and really enjoyed it...just 5 points plus! 

Last night I made a batch of the "0" points plus Garden Vegetable Soup.  I find that it takes the edge off of hunger while the rest of supper is cooking.  So, lunch today is the same as yesterday - egg salad...only we'll add some "0" point soup and a cup of yogurt with fresh strawberries and some crushed pineapple in it.  I made Chuck's sandwich on whole wheat bread because he is a real bread lover ...added an extra scoop of egg salad and he gets a 'man's sammy'...because he gets way more points than I do for the day!  He might as well enjoy them, right?  His sandwich~7 points plus...Mine~3points plus.

Tonight's dinner is the mindful part.  We have a bunch of fresh veggies in the fridge that are screaming to be used I am roasting brussel sprouts, green beans, zucchini, baby carrots, red onions, baby beets (the last item is canned, which I will drain and roast with the rest) and some whole garlic cloves.  I'll have them with some hot spaghetti squash with broccoli rabe and cannelli beans - 4 points plus per serving (a WeightWatchers recipe).  So with all the veggies being "0" points, and only the beans adding the 4 points, it was really a 'lite' dinner.  Hope I didn't spoil it with the 1/2 bottle of lite beer (2points plus) and a Blue Bunny ice cream on a stick (3 points plus)!  For Chuck and Justin, who both get mega points...I have some leftover brown rice and steak from two nights ago...that they can have with all the veggies and it will make them happy campers, for sure!

So stay tuned for tomorrow's results at the scale.  Feel free to share any 'lite' ideas for pre-weigh-in meals!!  I'll be happy for the help ;0)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fish Tacos for Dinner - Yumm-o!

I have to apologise that I have been so quick to eat my meals that I have not taken any photos to go with my blog ~ maybe I just haven't gotten in the groove yet.  Today started out with my favorite -sort of.  I was really wanting my Peanut Butter, Banana and Waffle breakfast sandwich, but found that we only had frozen blueberry waffles left.  Desperate woman that I am, I tried it...its just not the same.  It did, however, do the trick.  Breakfast held me until about noon time, so I am happy.

For lunch, I fixed egg salad using 6 hard boiled eggs, 3 Tbsp Hellman's Lite Mayo, some onion and celery chopped fine - and had mine on a couple of Romaine lettuce leaves- folded like tacos.  I topped each with some green olives for a total of 5 points plus for the two of them.  I love the saltiness of the olives on the eggs!  I added a few baby carrots for color on the plate ~ so good.

Dinner was fish tacos.  I've been wanting to make these ever since I first made the Sweet and Sour Slaw on my recipes page.  We took a few Tilapia fillets, dipped them in a mixture of corn meal, salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper and some Fiesta Lime Mrs. Dash!...and then sprayed them with Pam - put them under the broiler for a few minutes and dinner was ready.  I had a spread of warm tortillas, fresh homemade salsa, lime wedges, tomato slices and the cole slaw...two tacos for 7 points plus!  Its been a "Taco Kind of Day" today - unintentionally.

Now, to make these tacos taste particularly good was an e-mail from one of my favorite  It was to inform me that I won their latest contest...$100 worth of seafood from SeaPac seafood company and a SeaPac soft sided cooler.   All I had to do to enter was comment on their blog about what I do to make fixing dinner a little easier...50 words or less.  The winnings will include popcorn shrimp, popcorn fish, butterfly shrimp and shrimp scampi.  Hmmm - how many fish/shrimp tacos can I make with my winnings?

I saw this cool post about weight loss tips ~ some of which surprised me.  Check it out:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Monday ~ I'm Back...

Brrrrrr! Its -4 degrees out this morning and the wind chill is -15!!  Good day to be inside.  I'm back home from visiting my mom and I'm so ready to get back to building some new links and recipes to share with you.  You all know about Danica (my favorite food blogger), but I'd like to introduce you to a website that Danica is involved with...
Friends For Weight Loss! (use this link)

Truth be told, I haven't spent alot of time exploring this site because I thought it was more about exercise - which I have not wrapped my brain around yet.  I figured I'd spend my time learning the WeightWatchers Points Plus program and try to find recipes to make it fit my lifestyle.  I knew one day I'd find the time to visit the site and get motivation to start moving more.  Well, when visiting Danica's Daily today, I was so happy to discover that they added a new feature:

Guest Recipes!! Woo Hoo!! (use this link)

You have to check these out this week if you are planning on staying on track for SuperBowl Sunday!!  Just a couple of the recipes I plan on making are Buffalo Chicken Meatballs (1points+) and Caramel Dip for my apple slices (1points+).  This website is pretty new, but is growing daily, so please visit it often!

While in Rochester this past week, my sister MiMi joined Weight Watchers.  I am so excited for her!  She is off to a great start.  She joined last Wednesday night - and since I am used to weighing in on Friday mornings, I knew two things: 1) weighing in at night- I'd have a day's worth of water weight to contend with and 2) weighing in a couple of days early would show a smaller number....and I didn't want a "number" messing with my head.  So, two days later I showed up again and got officially weighed in.  Great strategy because I had a weight loss of another 2.4 pounds!  That seems to be my number - 2.4!  Out of the 7 weigh-ins since we started, 4 of them have been exactly 2.4 pounds!!  I'm taking it!!  Chuck weighed in at the Newburgh WW Center with a loss of 2.6 pounds which is great.  So our official losses to date are:

18.2 pounds for Corinne
27 pounds for Chuck
We are really close to our 10% goal and hope to hit it this week!

So on to today's meals.  We started our day with 1/2 cup of liquid egg whites cooked with onions and green peppers...1points which I added a few sprinkles of hot sauce for mine.  Add 1/2 a ruby red grapefruit and we had a very filling breakfast.  Chuck says he would have had a peice of toast, had we had bread in the house, but I haven't gone shopping yet.  He certainly has the extra points.

After devouring this, I headed back to the kitchen to fix our lunches to take to the office.  I started it off with fresh, organic greens - but not just any greens - Fresh Herb Salad!  What I love about these spring lettuces is that mixed in them are tiny bits of dill, parsley, cilantro, you get explosions of unexpected flavors in each bite. Yummy. 

So with this as my base, I added some baby carrots, cucumber slices, 5 black olives, 1 sliced hard boiled egg,  1oz cubed chicken breast, 1 Tbsp Feta cheese, and 1/2 a marinated artichoke.  Just look at this packed salad:

You can hardly see the lettuce.  I'll be adding 2 Tbsp of Ken's Lite Northern Italian Salad Dressing with Basil and Romano (1pp) - for a total of 6 points plus for the entire salad!  As you can see, I also have prepared our snack ~ 1 cup of Non Fat Greek Yogurt and fresh strawberry and banana slices for 3 points plus.  I could easily add a Tbsp of Kashi Go Lean Crunch and a Tbsp of honey for an extra couple of points...but I won't ;0)  Shooting for a good weight loss this week (gonna get to my 10% goal).

After work, I have a small window to fix dinner for the guys - Monday night is basketball - so they are gone in a flash.  Tonight we are having a real treat:

5 Points Plus for a one cup serving...add a cup of brown rice for 5 points+ and a side of steamed broccoli for 0 points+
I have to say - this dinner was super easy, tasted terrific, really filling and was great on the points +
Thank you Trader Joe's!!  For those of you who don't have access to a Trader Joe's near you - let this serve to show you that some convenience foods can fit well into the Points Plus program - so get out your PP Calculators and explore the frozen food aisle!  Let me know what you discover ;0)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Out of Town but not totally Out of Touch

Sorry, everyone, but I've been upstate visiting my mom and got sidetracked a little. We've been cleaning, catching up, and just bumming around a little. I haven't forgotten you all, and will try to get back to blogging and photos soon.

Tonight my sister MiMi and I took a ride to a nearby WeightWatchers meeting and got her signed up with the monthly pass. I am so proud of her and happy for her! MiMi has a huge load of stress everyday ~ more than a person has a right to carry alone~ and I am so proud of her that she is taking some time for herself. You need that MiMi (if you're reading this blog), to take care of yourself so you have something left of yourself to care for others. Eating right and taking off some weight will give you some of the energy and desire you need to carry on. So this post is really just for you!! Some of the rest of you may find some gems in this too - so you are welcome to keep reading ;0)

Planning and tracking are two big components of being successful on this program - but it doesn't have to be complicated. Whatever works for you. If you have to do some of your tracking on paper and some on e-Tools, so be it. If you can only plan what you are doing for today...that is good enough. Once a week is then have a week's menu in your tracker...just repeat it! If you can get to where you plan a whole week ahead of time, that is great. Its hard for me right now to do that, but I am working on it...actually working on putting together 4 entirely different weeks of dinner menus...and then I'll rotate them. It takes time. You'll figure out what works for you and you'll get lots of good ideas at your meetings, too. Just remember to get there early. Also, since you have paid for the can go back as often during the month as you like. Just make an effort to go on the same day/time each week for your weigh-in.

That pull out section in your getting started booklet is great. I put mine on our fridge at home, and Chuck's on the fridge at work. You might want to make copies of each section (lunches, snacks, etc) ...and leave the copies at work for when you need inspiration.

I find that keeping some fresh fruit in a basket on the kitchen counter helps keep me from 'rummaging around' looking for something to snack on...I just grab a peice of "0"points plus fruit and leave the kitchen. Sometimes just a few grapes are enough.

I'll start working a little harder on posting photos of favorite products for you on this site...but in the meantime:

1) Wheatables Crackers are usually 8 or 9crackers for 2 points...just depends on the variety you choose...and are really tasty! Add a couple peices of cheese for 2 points and you have your 4 point snack...even better...add a nice granny smith apple or a few grapes and you will feel spoiled!

2) Laughing cow cheese spread on your bread makes a great substitute for does honey mustard or cranberry mustard.

3) Ken's Northern Italian with basil and romano cheese (I think that is the name) is a great salad dressing for 1 one 2 points...I have it at home, and will take a photo and post the correct points for you...but a little goes a long way on a salad.

4) Having a nice tossed salad or "0" point soup stocked up in the fridge can take the edge off of your hunger while you cook tend to not over-eat that way.

5) Try to drink a glass of water pretty shortly after you wake sets the tone for the day. Drink a glass while fixing dinner.  It also helps if you have the munchies...drink a glass of water before you start'll eat less.

6) Try to slow down while eating...and try to leave the table 'not stuffed'. You can always go back later for more...but often after you do the dishes, you'll find you are full to satisfaction, no more, no less.

7) Cut up onions and peppers and store in a container for when you make your scrambled eggs...mushrooms, too if you like. It makes the morning routine easier. Adding some veggies to your morning eggs gives you the fiber with your protein...power foods to hold you longer between meals.

8) Land O Lakes makes a "0" points plus half and half for your coffee.

9) Its good to take a multi-vitamin...especially when you are just starting out because sometimes you just don't get the balance right for some time. The vitamin will help keep you from short-changing yourself.

I'm sure I'll think of more...but I don't want to overwhelm you on your first day!!  Have a great week and let me know how the scale treats you next week! 

By the way...for my other readers who happened to read this whole post...I usually weigh in on Fridays in Newburgh at 9:30am.  Tonight (Wednesday at 7:30pm) I got on the scale at the Rochester meeting and was down .2lbs.  That is not much, but when you consider that 1) women weight several pounds more at night than in the morning and 2) I still have 2 days to go before I have to weigh-in...this week should be awesome!!  Woo Hoo...I love Points Plus living!!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Friday Everyone!

I'm so happy today ~ after a challenging weekend last week, I managed to exercise enough control to lose 2.4lbs today and Chuck lost 3.1lbs.  That puts me just under 16lbs and Chuck at about 24lbs lost since we began in December.  Woo Hoo...time to celebrate!  It didn't hurt that I planned a "light" dinner last night, knowing we'd be getting on the scale today. We certainly didn't go to bed hungry...just smart.

I'm afraid I haven't been too good about photos today.  I started out the day running a little late for the WW meeting, so I had 1/2 cup of coffee and ran!!  After the meeting, I was off to the office, where thank goodness I had some leftover fruit salad to which I added a fresh banana.  Also, I finally broke into Chuck's protein bars: Kellogg's Special K brand, Strawberry flavor for 5points plus.  That held me up until lunch time, but by then we were on the road with Real Estate matters, so we stopped at McDonald's.  I figured out what I was ordering ahead of time using the Dining Out Companion I picked up at the Weight Watchers meeting.  We both ate the Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken (8pp) with the Southwest Salad Dressing (3pp) and it was yummy and filling.

This evening we have a friend of Justin's spending the night, so we made burgers and oven fries...but not the usual fare.  The burgers were Trader Joe's Chili Lime Chicken burgers (5pp) on a whole wheat hamburger bun (3pp) with lettuce, tomato, onion, pepperoncinis, and for some of us, ketchup.  I made a broccoli slaw using the bagged stuff and the recipe for slaw in my Recipes tab.  The oven fries were the killer, though.  I was trying to use up some of the leftover oil from the roasted veggies the other day and I went a little over board (did measure how much I used, but didn't look at the points first).  Next time, I will use Pam on the pan and then also spray the potatoes with Pam before I season them - forget the oil!!

I will share one nice photo with you - it was my snack the other night after I had already posted my blog.

Black tea with 3 Triple Ginger Cookie Thins from Trader Joe's (1pp)...I put the sugar and creamer out there in honor of my mom, who gave me the set.  For my friends who are big into Disney: Can you find the Hidden Mickey?  Happy trading! ~oh that's right, that is for another blog!!

Anyone have any special plans for the weekend or challenges they'd like to share?  I'm "all ears"!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Weigh-in is tomorrow!!

Thursdays take some thought for me when it comes to meal planning.  I usually try to think of things that aren't going to spoil my results on the scale tomorrow at the Weight Watchers meeting.  You know what I'm talking about - a bowl of pasta or something salty seems to cause us women to be a little bloated the next day.

My day started with two eggs over light (4pp) and some fresh fruit salad (0pp)...a good start with high protein to keep me satisfied longer (or as WW would say - good use of power foods).

Lunch was leftover soup at 1pm.  I had made some corn and roasted red pepper soup (which comes pre-made in a carton at Trader Joe's) and added a cup of wild rice and two chicken anduille sausages, cut up (also from Trader Joe's) yesterday during the snowstorm...7pp per cup!  So the leftover soup went to the office with me today, as well as the leftover 0pp WW Garden Vegetable Soup - just in case I was really hungry at lunch time.  Turns out the 7pp soup was enough.  I ate a banana (0pp)for a snack around 3pm and was good to go until dinner.

I decided that some broiled fish might be a good plan, so I defrosted salmon fillets that come pre-cut, portion controlled from Sam's Club.  I seasoned them with Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning, which is terrific on fish! I had one lime wedge left in the fridge, so also added a quick squeeze of fresh lime over the fish portions.  Under the broiler they went.

In the meantime, I boiled some mixed veggies and re-heated leftover spaghetti squash with some butter spray for flavor (all were 0pp).  So the only points for tonight's dinner was in the salmon (9pp)!  Added bonus: Mrs Dash doesn't use salt, so there will be no retained water from the sodium ;0)

I did reward myself with two Dove Miniature Dark Chocolates (1pp each) for dessert ;0)  Yummy.

A great article from Weight Watchers was on FaceBook this morning...
Just in case you want to do a little more reading and get inspired about breakfast!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


No, I haven't been snoozing!  I apologize for not posting but yesterday I had a surprise visit from a client whose home I sold.  Last month when the closing happened, I was home sick in bed with no voice ~ so Chuck attended the closing in my place.  This client felt it was necessary to stop by and thank me for my help and to tell me that after talking to some friends whose homes are still sitting on the market, he felt that Home Page had gotten his transaction right.  He said he compared the listing, the advertising, the virtual tour, our signage and everything else we did to what the other agents are doing for his friends, and he said we were hands and fists above the rest.  I didn't want to stop I got home very late. 

So by way of playing "catch up" ~ I did take a photo of my lunch:

I had a sandwich made of 3 oz shaved Black Forest Ham (2pp) on once slice of multi grain bread (3pp) with lettuce, tomato and some sweet and hot honey mustard. On the side I had 1/2 an English cucumber and a glass of seltzer...both 0 pp.  For my afternoon snack I had 1cup of non-fat plain yogurt with 1 cup of fresh blueberries...sorry but I didn't get a photo this time.

After I got home from work late, I had just a few moments to put dinner together before we had to run out for our I reached for the quickest thing I could find:

Annies' Organic Shells & White Cheddar.  I just had to try them because Danica ~the food blogger who inspires me all the time~ says they are the bomb.  They were done in no time, and so were the green beans tossed with some olive oil and fresh garlic.  Real comfort food, if I do say so myself.

We ran out to our meeting and got to drive home in what would become 8" of snow by morning.  So today we got lots of 'activity points' shoveling out the driveway by hand, hee hee.

Before we headed out, I made a protein packed breakfast of an egg (2pp) and some European Style Plain Yogurt from Trader Joe's (3pp) with fresh berries on top(0pp).  I really love fresh berries, and saved some for my waffle tomorrow ;0)  Total Breakfast: 5pp

Next, we were out to shovel the driveway. It so pretty outside - gotta love the beauty of it...

One last thing...I left off yesterday with a cliff hanger ~ guess what I was going to do with the red, orange and yellow peppers.  I was planning on cutting them up to be dippers for the spicy hummus I have in the fridge...but that never happened.  So tonight they become part of some oven roasted veggies to go with our steak on the grill (Justin was such a sport and shoveled a path to the grill so his dad could cook it outside~thanks Justin!).


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lets talk Daily Points Targets...

When I went to our first WW meeting for the new PointsPlus program, the first thing that happened was the most difficult for me- getting on the scale.  As much as I didn't want to hear the number...I already had a good idea what to expect, so there was really no surprise.  What was a huge surprise, though, was what my daily points plus allowance would be: "29"!  I use an exclamation mark because 29 is the lowest number of points anyone can be assigned.  But here is the good and bad of that:  If I had been given more points, eventually they would reduce the number of points allowed as I successfully lost weight (that has happened a couple of times already to Chuck in the 5 weeks we've been on program) ~ I'm not sure I'd like that too much.  By starting out at the lowest number of points, I will always have I can pretty much be on cruise control once I figure out how to fit the plan into my life.  Once I reach my goal weight...guess what...they give me more its a win-win situation for me!

One thing I liked in the new materials we were given was on page 60 of the Getting Started booklet: "OK, do I figure out what to eat each day?"  There is a nice chart that suggests how you might break down your daily points allowance.  For my 29 points, they break it down like this: Breakfast-5pp; Lunch-8pp; Dinner-11pp; Snack-3pp; Snack-2pp.  I'm normally not a 'two snack a day person', but hey - why not give it a try?  What I have found is that this breakdown works really well.  I do play around with it a little...some days I eat a 7pp breakfast, so then I skip a snack...but in truth, I really am so full that I couldn't eat one if I had its all good. 

So lets start with breakfast!  Its always a good morning when you start it with breakfast.  When I think back to how many times I skipped this important meal, I can't imagine how I made it through the day.  I thought I'd share with you my NEW FAVORITE breakfast sandwich and tell you why it is.

Even Minnnie loves this breakfast!  I have a large mug of hot coffee with Land O' Lake Fat Free Half & Half (0pp), a fresh cut up orange (0pp), and then my favorite breakfast sandwich: two Nutri-Grain Eggo Waffles made with Whole Wheat (4pp) -toasted, a banana sliced the long way first, then cut in half so it lays on one waffle nicely without falling off and 1Tbsp of chunky style peanut butter spread on the other waffle~put it all together and you have one terrific sandwich.  This is great to eat on the run, too. Its warm, creamy goodness- a little sweet, and very filling.  You have to give this one a try and let me know how you like it.  Total breakfast: 7pp!  It will hold me all morning long right up until a 1pm lunch, too.  No snack necessary or desired.  Also - notice I included my multi-vitamin...somehow I have to figure out how to get Minnie to swallow that one for me!

One more tip: since all fruit is "0" points now, why not leave some fresh fruit out on the counter?  I am finding that when I have one of those moments where I've just wandered into the kitchen when its not know what I'm talking about - hunting for "something", but you don't know what - you're not really hungry, but you want something...

Go ahead, grab a few sweet, juicy grapes, or an apple, or a banana...and walk away satisfied.  It almost looks like my orchid is reaching out for a grape, too!

See those colorful peppers on the left?  Wait to see what I'm planning for them this afternoon!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Garden Vegetable Soup - "0" Points Plus!

So, in case you didn't guess already - I removed the fat from the top of the chicken broth I made this morning and strained the bones out and made the "0" points Garden Vegetable Soup recipe from the Kick Start Guide in our Weight Watchers Getting Started materials. 

Start by spraying a large saucepan with non-stick cooking spray and heat.  Saute 1/2 cup sliced carrots, 1/4 cup diced onion, and 2 minced garlic cloves (I usually use the stuff already minced from a jar) over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add 3 cups of fat-free broth ( beef, chicken or vegetable ),1 cup diced green cabbage, 1 cup chopped spinach, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp dried oregano and 1/4 tsp salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat; simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes.  Stir in 1 cup diced zucchini and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.  Serve hot. 

See how good this looks?  I could easily add some of the chicken I cut up this morning to this (weigh it out, of course, to determine how many points plus that I am adding) and make a nice meal of this, some whole wheat bread and a nice salad.  I'm also fond of adding 2 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese (1pp).  Cheap, easy and sooo gooood.

Monday, Monday

I realize that one day I'll have to come up with a regular schedule for my posts so you all know what time of day to check back, and so I keep this in its proper place ~ after all, there are more things to life than just blogging! (really?)

This morning I began to take photos of most of what I am eating and tried to gather some shots of products that my family likes.   I am using my Flip camera, and making snapshots from the video because our digital camera is usually in Chuck's truck or on his desk at not all my shots come out great.  I'll spare you the pain of looking at those ones.

I started out my day with one of my favorite to make and easy to grab and go!  I toasted a whole wheat English muffin (3pp) and cooked one egg (2pp) in a non-stick pan with a little Pam spray.  I also heated up one piece of Canadian bacon (1pp) along side the egg...slapped them between the muffin halves (sometimes with a little ketchup or hot sauce)...and there you have it...and so quick & easy to make (and clean up)!  Add to it some cantaloupe pieces, a few raspberries & blueberries (0pp) and mmmm...  Total breakfast: 6pp!

After such a good breakfast, I thought I'd slice the meat off a rotisserie chicken I picked up at Sam's Club over the weekend.  Look at all the goodness I have in store for lunches and dinner this week! 

Not bad for a $4.99 investment, but I'm not done yet!  I took the carcass and put it in a tall pot, put some hot water from the tap into the store container to rinse and "wash" the drippings into the pot until the water just about covered the bones...boiled it while I got dressed...and when I get home from work, the resulting broth will become a nice 1pp veggie soup!  Talk about stretching your dollars ~ and so easy, too.  I'll be putting the recipe on the Recipe tab shortly.

Next, I took my new favorite wraps: Ole X-treme Wellness! brand, which most of their varieties are only 1pp per wrap (the 8 Grain wrap is 2pp, which is still low)...
...and using some of the chicken I just cut up, I put a 2 oz portion of the white meat onto a wrap, topped it with a piece of roasted red pepper and some romaine lettuce leaves, and 1tsp of cranberry mustard for some x-tra flavor and...
...there you have it...lunch!  This mustard has a little bit of "heat" to it, which really tickles my taste buds for "0" points!  Entire lunch: 3pp!

Lastly, in an effort to satisfy the "Good Health Guidelines" on the new Weight Watchers Points Plus program, I am now taking my multi-vitamin that I ordered from ~ a website my daughter-in-law Erika recommended to me.  They were on sale this month, are full of goodness, and had terrific reviews on the the website.  Like any good vitamin, they are a little large (guess I should have taken a photo, huh?), but not impossible to deal with.
So that was my morning.  I have "eaten" 9 of my 29 daily points plus allowance and am "feeling good".  Its 3:30 and I'll probably have a Granny Smith apple (0pp)and a piece of Laughing Cow cheese for my mid-day snack (1pp) and I'll be good to go until dinner.  Wanna guess what we're having?  Check back later and find out!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Taking my diet with me...

We're headed to our son Jared and daughter-in-law Katie's house this afternoon for dinner, and Kate has asked me to bring dessert: consisting of fresh fruit.  She is so sweet, and has planned a menu to support us staying on program!  She is serving a make your own taco/taco salad we can fix our plates to accommodate what points we have left for the day.  Isn't she wonderful?  So I am presenting my very first photo for this blog...

This tray consists of "0" points all around - Oranges, Grapes, Kiwi, Strawberries, Blackberries, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Blueberries, Green Grapes and a fresh pineapple...Mmmm.  I can hardly wait to dig in...I sampled everything except the kiwis...and so far the strawberries are my favorite...they are so full of flavor!

I can't forget to tell you about yesterday's challenge...Ralph and Terry (Katie's parents and our very good friends) invited about 30 of us to their home to say 'so long' to some good friends traveling to the Dominican Republic for 2 1/2 months.  So long Brian, Celine, Bella and Ethan ~ see you in a couple of months!  Terry planned an incredible turkey dinner and had friends and family bring some of the side dishes - complete with mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole with little marshmallows on top, roasted vegetables, mixed green salad with cranberries, Gorgonzola cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette , a vegetable lasagna, a huge variety of breads and rolls - I'm sure I'm missing something here...but you get the picture.  She also was such a supportive friend because she knew the points values to almost everything served and had plenty to choose from to help us all stay on program.  To my delight, I had very small "tastes" of things like the mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, etc - and a regular portion of white meat turkey, salad, and roasted was quite a plate full of food.  When she put out the desserts, of which there were many - I found a good friend (thanks Janelle) who took half portions of both pies, and we split that - leaving about two bites of each to sample...and we split two of the cookies.  When I came home and entered everything I ate...I discovered that I only went into my weekly 49 extra points by 5!!  Sure wish I had taken photos of everything there because it was one spectacular spread!! 

I just have to finish today saying how wonderful it is to have such supportive friends and family.  I also want to express my appreciation to Renee ~ my good friend who convinced me it was time to join Weight Watchers again ~ and went with me kicking and screaming (well, almost).  We missed you last night!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Link to Danica's Give-Away

Hey, all~ you've heard about the blogger I've been following ~Danica's Daily...she is having a give away on her site.  She got some neat T-Shirts from her hubby with her website on it...and she is giving 5 of them I decided I'd give you a chance to win one, too.  The least I can do for this gal is provide some extra fans...

Lazy Saturday

After shoveling snow late last night, my poor body screamed for a restful morning I am honoring its request.  Its so pretty outside this morning, though, with the sun glistening on the pure white snow everywhere.

Before I start blogging about my daily meals, I thought I'd play catch-up and give you a few comments about the recipes tab.  It is my goal to share recipes with you, sometimes linking to other sites and at some point, within my own.  Moving forward, when I try a new recipe, I'll give a review in my blog first...then put all the good ones in my Recipes tab.  Right now, there are a few to talk about that made it to my recipes page. 

The Asian Glazed Drumsticks are good...but my family thought it might be a little better if done with boneless thighs instead, or even with boneless breasts.  The sauce was good...with a little "heat"...but I might have added a wee bit more ;0)  Definitely would make it again, with a few adjustments.  Also, while I bought the Sriracha hot sauce...I don't know that you couldn't make this with any hot sauce you have around the house...I'm just saying that because I have accumulated a huge supply of different brands of hot sauce, and would be comfortable making the substitution myself.  This recipe is linked to another site that I really love for food inspiration - so be sure to check out her other recipes - and thanks, Gina of, for sharing what you know on your website, your blog and your facebook page!

The Turkey-Apple Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette is a recipe from the WeightWatchers site.  I loved this fresh salad - and all the more so for the low points plus value (4pp) per serving.  Chuck, on the other hand, doesn't care for his meat and veggies to be mixed he took the turkey off and mixed it with some creamy ranch dressing (I think that's what that white stuff was).  This was really easy to fix, and I would definitely recommend it as your meal for the night before a big weigh in!!

Garlic Lime Chicken is an old favorite I discovered from  Some of you will recognize that name from the days I used to quote 'flylady' all the time.  Her site is phenominal for getting your life and home more organized...but she also is big on posting some awesome recipes.  I have this recipe linked to her once again...feel free to explore her site!  My one peice of advice on this one is to be sure not to overcook your is best if cooked but still moist.  By our calculations from her nutritional info - this comes out to about 8pp per serving..which is fine, just keep your 'sides' on the lower points scale.

Sweet and Sour Slaw was soooo easy to put together and really tasty...and a huge serving for just 1point+.  This is a good side for almost anything...but I can easily see putting it on a fish taco sometime soon!!  I linked back to the site I got it they give credit to Cooking Light.

Pepper Steak is another recipe I took from  This was really good, and plentiful.  At 5.5pp per serving...its definitely a keeper.  I did add the red pepper flakes, which really made the dish, but you can add 'heat' to your liking.  We had this with a cup of brown rice for 5pp and a salad with Trader Joe's Asian Style Spicy Peanut Dressing for 1pp per Tbsp.  Yummy!

I know this is alot to read today...but I thought you'd want to know why I chose to put these out there.  They are recipes I'll go back to in the weeks to come.

One last thing I wanted to accomplish today was to say a huge Thank You to my sister Sue for her editing my spelling on my previous posts...and for making some good suggestions.  Also to my son, Jared, for his encouragement to start this...along with some advice on getting started with blogging...and in advance for all the help you will be giving me moving forward because you offered (hee hee).  Then, to Danica of Danica's Daily for permission to link to her sites, to link to her recipes, and for the encouragement to do this, too.  She is one classy gal, and I love visiting her site everyday!  Thanks, Danica, if you are checking in ;0)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fabulous Friday!

Hope your Friday is as good as mine is shaping up to be.  We started out the day heading to WeightWatchers for our first PointsPlus meeting of 2011 and our 5th weigh-in.  I am down 2.4 pounds this week for a 5 week total of 13.4 pounds!  So I celebrated with a really good breakfast when I got home.  One day I'll try to do like some of my other blogger friends and share photos ~ but for now you'll have to trust me that this looked as great as it tasted.  I made a large omlet out of one egg (2pp) and 1/4 cup of liquid egg whites (1pp), 1 Tbsp of shredded taco cheese blend (1pp), 1 piece of Canadian bacon cut up (1pp) and some sauteed onions and peppers (0pp).  With it I had a piece of whole wheat toast with 1tsp of Smart Balance Lite (3pp) and a cup of coffee with my "0" points half and half.  I garnished the plate with a few red grapes and 1/3 of an orange.  My whole breakfast was 8pp, and I am full and satisfied.  The really cool thing about that is that a breakfast like this really keeps me satisfied until lunch time!

So what about our WW meeting was so special that I feel inspired?  Our leader, Laura, is a successful loser with a lot of energy!  On her agenda today was the fundamentals of the new program and why it works, but she gave us some great ideas for getting the most out of your points.  She said its important to try to use all our daily points allowance while focusing on meeting our dairy, healthy fats, fruits & veggies, multi-vitamins, and water requirements.  She also challenged us to track everything we eat every day for 10 weeks ~until April 2nd.  That way we'll not only learn the points values and portions, but we'll also be able to "see" for ourselves what is working for "me"...and repeat that!

Laura told us about her favorite omlet that she gets from a diner she frequents ~ after hearing her description of her favorite, the result was the yummy omlets my family enjoyed when I got home.  Thanks for the inspiration, Laura! 

One of my favorite parts of the meeting was when Laura showed us her "before" photo ~ and it was impressive how much difference her weight loss made in her appearance ~ she is truly a new person.  On the back of her photo was a saying that inspires her..."If you focus only on results, nothing ever changes.  If you focus on changes, you'll certainly get results!"  THAT inspired me, too!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome! my very first blog ever!  My intention for this blog is to create a journal of my weight loss efforts...what works for me and what gets in the way, and hopefully figure out how to finally lose this excess weight and keep it off.  I'm currently working on creating weekly menus to rotate, complete with favorite recipes and grocery lists...bear with me while I figure this all out.  I promise to share these ~ for what its worth.  I intend to provide links to some of my favorite bloggers, and to create pages complete with recipes, motivational sayings, favorite products I've discovered that fit well into a Weight Watcher's Point Plus lifestyle, favorite meal combos, etc.  I welcome all your finds, your suggestions, and requests!  Please come back and visit often.