Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nada...

That's seriously what I have at the moment. Just been a week of gym, work, sleep. Oh, and don't forget the crabbiness. I do like Halloween though and will be dressing up and going out with friends. Looking forward to it and hope that we all have some fun acting stupid. Can't remember last exercise post, so here's the week so far...
  • Mon - 112 mins
  • Tues - 70 mins
  • Wed - 92 mins
  • Thurs - 92 mins
It was seriously a struggle to get to the gym today. I didn't go first thing in the morning - BIG mistake. By the end of the day, I just wasn't in the mood and didn't wanna. Then I thought about the costume I'm wearing and that I'll be drinking and said, "self - get going". I really need to try and do it first thing in the morning tomorrow. Maybe I should wear a costume to the gym? Wouldn't that be funny???

lapband bandster fill

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tight Tight TIGHT!!!

Enjoy the flurry of recipes from Weight Watchers. They sound pretty good to me and I plan on trying some of them out. That won't be until I am not so tight though. As usual - miserable. TTOTM I am always tighter, but sometimes I am really tight. This stupid time it is one of those really tight times. UGH! And to top that off, I'm not very hungry. Some might consider this a good thing, but I am a big believer in keeping fuel in your system - just not a lot of it! (It stalls my weight loss.) So, I have been trying to come up with things that 1 - sound good to eat and 2 - won't cause me a bunch of pain.

All I can say is: UGH, UGH, UGH!

Exercise today: 70 mins

lapband bandster fill

Tex-Mex Rice and Bean Casserole - 4 WW pts

POINTS® Value: 4
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Creamy, cheesy Mexican food is irresistible. This one-dish casserole is a vegetarian feast.

Ingredients

* 1 spray(s) cooking spray
* 1 cup(s) canned yellow corn, drained, or frozen, thawed corn kernels
* 1 tbsp canned green chili peppers, chopped, mild or hot
* 15 oz canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 cup(s) cooked brown rice, fresh or day old
* 3/4 cup(s) shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese
* 3/4 cup(s) fat-free sour cream
* 1/4 tsp chili powder
* 1/4 tsp table salt
* 1/8 tsp black pepper
* 2 tbsp scallion(s), chopped (dark green part only)
* 2 tbsp shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese

Instructions

* Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 2-quart glass baking dish with cooking spray.

* In a large bowl, combine corn, chilies, beans, rice, 3/4 cup of cheese, sour cream, chili powder, salt and pepper; stir in scallions.

* Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese melts and casserole is slightly bubbly, about 10 minutes more. Let stand for 5 minutes to firm up before slicing into 6 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Notes

* Change the beans or cheese to your liking: white or black beans, reduced-fat cheddar or Monterey Jack cheeses all work well.

If you want to brown the cheese more, place the dish (make sure it's broiler safe) under the broiler for a minute or two.

Grilled Portobellos with Garlicky Herbed Bean Salad - 5 WW pts

POINTS® Value: 5
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 25 min
Cooking Time: 21 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

This nutrient-packed meal is really filling. Vary the types of beans each time you make it: Great Northern, flageolet, navy and pinto are all tasty.

Ingredients

* 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
* 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
* 4 large portobello mushroom(s), remove, mince and reserve stems
* 1/2 medium sweet red pepper(s)
* 1/2 medium yellow pepper(s)
* 1 spray(s) cooking spray
* 1 1/2 cup(s) canned white beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
* 3 medium garlic clove(s), finely minced (or to taste)
* 3 medium scallion(s), chopped
* 1 large tomato(es), seeded and chopped
* 1 tsp fresh sage, or rosemary, finely chopped
* 1 tsp table salt
* 1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste

Instructions

* Preheat grill (or grill pan) to medium.

* Combine 1 tablespoon of oil and vinegar in a cup; brush mixture over top of mushroom caps and let sit 5 to 10 minutes to release juices.

* Grill mushrooms, stem side down, brushing with any extra oil mixture/juices, until slightly tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Turn mushrooms over and grill until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes more.

* Meanwhile, lightly coat pepper halves with cooking spray; grill, skin-side down, until skin starts to blister, about 3 to 5 minutes; coarsely chop peppers.

* Place peppers in a medium bowl. Add beans, minced mushroom stems, remaining tablespoon of oil, lemon juice, garlic, scallions, tomato, sage, salt and black pepper; toss well to coat.

* Reduce grill heat to low or move mushrooms to a higher rack level. Spoon vegetable mixture into mushroom caps. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Yields 1 filled mushroom per serving.

Greek-Style Spaghetti Squash - 3 WW pts

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 25 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

In addition to being a great side dish for chicken or fish, this combo of feta, chickpeas, sautéed scallions and spaghetti squash also makes a fantastic vegetarian main course.

Ingredients

* 2 pound(s) raw spaghetti squash
* 2 tsp olive oil
* 1/2 cup(s) scallion(s), sliced
* 2 tsp minced garlic
* 14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
* 1 cup(s) canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* 1 tsp lemon zest, freshly grated
* 1/4 tsp table salt
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 1/4 cup(s) dill, or mint, fresh, chopped
* 1/4 cup(s) pot cheese, or fat-free crumbled feta

Instructions

* Pierce squash with a fork in several places; place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high, turning squash over every 3 minutes, until tender, about 12 to 15 minutes; let stand 5 minutes. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. (Or to bake squash, preheat oven to 350ºF. Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a large baking dish and prick skin all over with a fork. Bake until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.)

* Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add scallions and garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes, chickpeas, oregano, lemon zest, salt and pepper; increase heat to high and bring to a slow boil.

* Using a fork, scrape strands of squash into skillet with tomato-chickpea mixture. Cook, stirring, until squash strands are well coated; remove from heat and stir in dill or mint. Top each serving with cheese. Yields about 1 cup of squash mixture and 1 tablespoon of cheese per serving.

Notes

* Add a dash of red pepper flakes for an extra kick.

Hearty Tuscan Vegetable Chowder - 3 WW pts

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 25 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

We wrap up Vegetarian Week with our hearty chowder. It's packed with vegetables and TVP (textured vegetable protein) but even carnivores will love it.

Ingredients

* 2 tsp olive oil
* 1 cup(s) onion(s), diced
* 3/4 cup(s) carrot(s), diced
* 1/2 cup(s) celery, diced
* 4 cup(s) vegetable broth
* 28 oz canned tomatoes, diced, in juice, undrained
* 15 oz canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
* 3 tsp minced garlic
* 1/4 tsp dried thyme
* 1 cup(s) kale, frozen, chopped
* 1 cup(s) frozen cut green beans
* 1/2 tsp table salt
* 1 cup(s) dry textured vegetable protein, granules (TVP)
* 1 tsp fennel seed
* 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

* Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, carrots and celery. Saute 5 minutes until onion is translucent. Add broth, tomatoes and juice, beans, TVP, garlic, fennel and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes.

* Stir in kale, green beans, salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes or until vegetables and TVP are tender. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving. (Note: Store in refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for future consumption.)

Provencal-Style Fish Stew - 3 WW pts

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 8 min
Cooking Time: 13 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

This French-inspired stew is so flavorful, it's hard to believe it's made mostly from canned goods. Use frozen chopped onions to streamline the process even more.

Ingredients

* 15 oz canned chicken broth, divided
* 1 large onion(s), chopped
* 15 oz canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
* 6 oz water-packed tuna fish, drained, flaked with a fork
* 15 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
* 1/4 tsp dried oregano
* 1/2 tsp table salt
* 1/4 tsp black pepper
* 1/4 cup(s) basil, fresh, chopped

Instructions

* In a medium pot, heat 1/4 cup of broth over medium-high heat; add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

* Add beans, tuna, tomatoes and oregano; stir in remaining broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper and basil; simmer for 1 minute more. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving.

Notes

* If you can't find fresh basil, substitute 2 tablespoons of fresh, flat-leaf parsley in its place.

Rouille sauce, a garlicky condiment that tops French bouillabaisse, is a delicious optional topping for this stew. For a quick version, blend together 1 slice of French bread (torn into pieces), 1 garlic clove, 2 roasted red peppers (from a water-packed jar), 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne and 1 tablespoon of chicken broth (or enough broth to make a sauce). Add a dollop to each serving of stew (adds 0 POINTS values per serving).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Komen and Weigh In


October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I participate in the local Komen race and raise money to hopefully find a cure. Well, the cool people at Lean Cuisine have a really neat deal. For essentially 10 bucks you get a cool lunch bag and 5 bucks goes to Komen. I ordered the block pattern one. Go check it out here.

Weigh In
Well I was right dang it! I didn't gain, but just stayed the same this week. Honestly it is a bit strange when I look at everything in total, but maybe it has something to do with TTOTM. I'll just keep plugging away and see what happens next week. And remember when I said in my last post that I would be happy if I remained the same? Well, I lied! ;-P
  • Week 1 - 8/19 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN 3 lbs (My body was in shock. Let's be real. First week, I always see something)
  • Week 2 - 8/26 - 156 lbs - UP .5 lb
  • Week 3 - 9/2 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN .5 lb (notice same .5)
  • Week 4 - 9/9 - 155.5 lbs - SAME (drastic measures called for. switch weigh in day.)
  • Week 5 (Switch to Mondays) - 9/15 - 153 lbs - DOWN 2.5 lbs
  • Week 6 - 9/22 - 151. 5 lbs - DOWN 2 lbs
  • Week 7 - 9/29 - 147.5 lbs - DOWN 4 lbs
  • Week 8 - 10/6 - 150.5 lbs - UP 3 lbs
  • Week 9 - 10/13 - 146 lbs - DOWN 4.5 lbs
  • Week 10 - 10/20 - 145.5 lbs - DOWN .5 lbs
  • Week 11 - 10/27 - 145.5 lbs - SAME
Exercise today: 112 mins. I still feel tight today. Only able to eat 1/2 my oatmeal this morning. I think it is hormonal though. If my eating last week is any indication of where my band is fill wise, I think I need a small fill. Next week will be the test.

lapband bandster fill

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stolen Base = FREE Taco


Get your FREE taco people! Any World Series game that has a base officially stolen means that Taco Bell will give anyone that comes in on a certain day during a window of time a FREE taco. Last night it happened and Tuesday is the day. This promotion will continue throughout the World Series. Pretty cool, huh?

Exercise was excellent this week. Here's the stats:
  • Mon - 70 mins
  • Tues - 70 mins / 65 mins
  • Wed - 75 mins
  • Thurs - 70 mins / 30 min walk at lunch
  • Fri - 110 mins
  • Sat - 120 mins
  • Sun - OFF
The concern I have is my eating. It was OK, but I had a lot of snacks and one day had - let's see - some not-so-good choices. Here's the thing though - I was still within my points because there are 35 flex points in addition to the daily point allocation during the week. But as I know, I don't have the best metabolism in the world and at this point it is very hard to get the weight off. This is all building up to...I sure hope I maintain at a minimum when I weigh in tomorrow and don't see a gain. *sigh*

It is getting close to TTOTM and I am feeling tight today. It has been hard to eat and honestly I just don't feel like it. That's what happens to me - the week before - eat like a pig. The week of - don't like to eat which works out well since my band always gets tighter at this time.

lapband bandster fill

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stand Up Straight!

Remember how your mom used to tell you that? Well, as with a lotta things, my dang mom was right! And this is most important at the gym. As you know, I'm a fan of the elliptical and treadmill on an incline to manage my knee problems. I just have to have a little-itty-bitty rant about how good posture is important.

Good posture will give you a good workout and use the muscles that are intended to be worked out while ensuring others are not being pulled and strained in a way they shouldn't be. Do not hunch over people! I cannot tell you how many people I have seen do this. It isn't good for you and honestly you aren't getting as much out of your workout as you could be.

So, what's the correct posture? Again, not a doctor or a trainer, but here's my thoughts for the elliptical: stand up straight (back straight) with your shoulders back. Pretty much everything else will align where it is supposed to when you do this. Keep in mind your core and tighten your abs. You do this during your workout and those places that the machine says are supposed to be working out (some combination of hams, quads, butt, and calves) will be worked out and I bet you feel it.

Whew - I feel better now! :-) I haven't worked out yet today. Yesterday gym: 70 mins.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jell-O is My Friend

When I am convinced I am hungry, but it is too early to eat - or I've already had a snack - I pull out my trusty friend - Sugar Free Jell-O and eat one of those. I like all the flavors and keep them on hand at all times. Gotta love a snack that kinda fills you up and only has 10 calories!



My other favorite is the Sugar Free Jell-O pudding. When I am looking for something creamy and a treat, I have one of these puddings. A surprising favorite flavor of mine is the dulce de leche. My friend convinced me to try it and it was a definite good call. (It does taste a bit artificial though, so you have been warned!)

I thought I might go to the gym for a second time today, but realized my legs were a little sore and I was over doing it. So instead I am blogging about Jell-O. Go figure!

Btw - the Jell-O is free Weight Watcher wise. The pudding is 1 pt.

Exercise today: 75 mins

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Me and My Phone


OK, I am convinced. I have a problem with my mobile phone. My name is Fluffy and I am a mobile-phone-aholic. Here's the story. I decided to go to the gym and get on the treadmill to watch half of Biggest Loser. Great idea, right? I get to the gym and looked around for my phone. (I text like a tween - about 5,000 a month - yes, seriously. And, I'm old!) Couldn't find it and seriously almost considered driving HOME to get it. That is seriously sick! I was planning on being at the gym for about an hour and I can't be without my phone? Seriously, I need a program...

Exercise so far this week...

Monday - 70 mins
Tuesday - 70 mins morning / 65 mins evening

Monday, October 20, 2008

Comment Responses and Weigh In...

Deb - Please let me know if you have any questions. I strongly believe that there is no such thing as a stupid one. Getting banded is a big decision. Good luck with the doc in November.

Kathleen - First, congratulations on the 150 lbs you lost!

I was actually totally average/normal whatever you want to call it as a child. Had some challenges (minor) in high school, but related to a move in schools. In fact, I had stayed thin throughout my twenties as well. The problems started in my 30's and battling severe depression. I found that if I have a picture taken that I can see my 'real' size. It is very bizarre and the other day I didn't recognize myself in a picture. Like you said, I might never get over it.

Your comments on vanity sizing were so interesting that I am going to post them here...

You're friend is right and there is no such thing as vanity sizing. In a nutshell, designers size their garments to their demography. Contrary to popular opinion, wealthy people are thinner. Therefore, expensive designer apparel is sized smaller ("true to size") than inexpensive items. Even a designer sizes differently according to each of their labels. Ex, Ralph Lauren puts out 7 different lines, each priced to a different demography. His high end purple label is sized at least two sizes smaller than his lowest end line of tees and hoodies. There's more info here if you're interested.

http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/the_myth_of_vanity_sizing/

There's links at close to more entries in the series. Btw, I'm a pattern maker in the apparel industry but I'm no apologist, the industry is guilty of many sins but vanity sizing isn't one of them.

First, I've never *met* a pattern maker. That is seriously cool! The information you shared is extremely interesting! Thank-you for sharing it with me. I am going to check out the link you provided as well, but haven't had a chance to do so yet.

WEIGH IN

Yippeeee! A small loss, but still a loss. Wondering if it might have been a bit more considering my exercise for the week, but had sushi (look out soy sauce!) last night. Note to self: Having a salt-fest the night before you weigh in is probably not a good idea.
  • Week 1 - 8/19 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN 3 lbs (My body was in shock. Let's be real. First week, I always see something)
  • Week 2 - 8/26 - 156 lbs - UP .5 lb
  • Week 3 - 9/2 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN .5 lb (notice same .5)
  • Week 4 - 9/9 - 155.5 lbs - SAME (drastic measures called for. switch weigh in day.)
  • Week 5 (Switch to Mondays) - 9/15 - 153 lbs - DOWN 2.5 lbs
  • Week 6 - 9/22 - 151. 5 lbs - DOWN 2 lbs
  • Week 7 - 9/29 - 147.5 lbs - DOWN 4 lbs
  • Week 8 - 10/6 - 150.5 lbs - UP 3 lbs
  • Week 9 - 10/13 - 146 lbs - DOWN 4.5 lbs
  • Week 10 - 10/20 - 145.5 lbs - DOWN .5 lbs
EXERCISE

I think this is a very good week for exercise!
  • Mon - 80 mins
  • Tues - 70 mins
  • Wed - 70 mins
  • Thurs - 70 mins
  • Fri - 70 mins
  • Sat - Komen 5K
  • Sun - 110 mins - **OK, yes this is a little excessive. I did my normal workout and the football game was on. I figured rather than going home and putting my ass on the couch that I might as well just walk the treadmill on an incline. So that's what I did.
I've also decided that on my day off from the gym that there is no reason that I can't go for a walk. This week proved that. Komen - while it was a 5K (3.2 miles) - has nearly 40,000 racers (original Dallas race) and you are going at a leisurely pace not necessarily by choice, but by traffic! So far there have been no ill effects from doing it, but if I do feel sore (which I do a bit today) - I'm blaming it on the length of Sunday's workout anyway!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Clothes...

Well, when I had regained this bit of weight - I had complained about my clothes not fitting. I now have the same frickin' problem! My clothes are now too big. I am still 3 lbs from my lowest weight since banding, but I'm smaller. All the working out is doing some magic!

This would not be so bad, but I'm between sizes it seems. An 8 is too big and for me a 6 is too tight. My friend totally disagrees and she says I wear my clothes too loose and that the 6 actually fits. With the economy the way it is, clothes are all on sale. I ended up getting 3 pairs of slacks (nice ones and size 6) for under 75 bucks.

Funny thing is that I don't feel that small, but I guess people are getting concerned that I am losing too much weight????? I'm tall (5'8") so I guess a 6 is pretty small, but I don't believe these are true size 6 pants. I think it is vanity sizing. My friend pointed out the pants are made by 3 different designers. I don't know. What is my deal?

I'm sure that people reading this might be thinking 'what the hell? get over yourself and shut the hell up'. But I guess I'm concerned. Concerned I don't see myself as I really am and need to figure out how to do that. I still look in the mirror and see a smaller version of the fat person I had become, but still fat. Sounds weird, but I am sure some people can relate to this.

I'm going to have to ponder all of this more. I've been feeling a lot of anxiety as well. Hell, I'm a mess. (Remember - my job also sucks.) Maybe I need to consider going to a counselor for a bit again. Or maybe, I am just stressed, anxious, and in a funk....

Gym: 70 mins

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SHOUT Out!


To my new follower Deb! Seriously, it is nice to know that someone is checking out the blog every now and then. So, thanks Deb! Didn't see that you have a blog. If you do, please let me know.

Gym...
  • Mon - 80 mins
  • Tues - 70 mins
  • Wed - 70 mins

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weigh In Day...what the hell?

This yo-yo is nuts.
  • Week 1 - 8/19 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN 3 lbs (My body was in shock. Let's be real. First week, I always see something)
  • Week 2 - 8/26 - 156 lbs - UP .5 lb
  • Week 3 - 9/2 - 155.5 lbs - DOWN .5 lb (notice same .5)
  • Week 4 - 9/9 - 155.5 lbs - SAME (drastic measures called for. switch weigh in day.)
  • Week 5 (Switch to Mondays) - 9/15 - 153 lbs - DOWN 2.5 lbs
  • Week 6 - 9/22 - 151. 5 lbs - DOWN 2 lbs
  • Week 7 - 9/29 - 147.5 lbs - DOWN 4 lbs
  • Week 8 - 10/6 - 150.5 lbs - UP 3 lbs
  • Week 9 - 10/13 - 146 lbs - DOWN 4.5 lbs
So, I'm totally confused. If last week was a screwed up weigh in from TTOTM, then it's a 1.5 lb loss ignoring the screwed up week. I have no idea and it is a bit nerve wracking. I will just continue to eat right and exercise. The scale eventually shows it.

I went shopping over the weekend as I had snagged up a pair of pants at work. With a coupon, door buster, etc. at JCP, I paid less than 15 bucks for the pants. :-) I figured I would get a couple other pairs - which ended up being about the same price when all was said and done - roughly 45 bucks for 3 pairs.

Anyway, I knew the replacement pair would fit as I bought a size smaller. The other two are actually the same style (um, I wear black slacks to work and that is pretty much it on the bottom. I'm fine with them being the same style if they fit). I tried them on and they fit. Wellllll, I had those damn pants on today and they are too frickin' big. There is good and bad to that. The good they are too big. The bad - I just bought the damn pair and wore them once. No way to return them. Grrrrrr.

Lesson: Be sure to factor in that your pants need to be kinda snug. Cause you wear them and they stretch out a bit from the spandex they are putting in everything. Saggy ass is not so nice.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why the Incline is Your Friend


I have been a big believer in the incline, but decided when I heard reference to this on Biggest Loser that I must not be an idiot! I was super athletic as a kid, teen, and adult through college, so my knees are not what they used to be and there is some cartilage damage and stuff like that. My goal is to not do anything about it until I have to and therefore I have to modify workouts a lot to get the calorie burn, heart rate, etc. that I would if I did more higher impact workers. The rub is higher impact = sore knees. So, for a long time, I have been a big fan of the incline on a treadmill. By putting the treadmill on the incline going the same speed you would if it was flat, you will see a dramatic increase in your heart rate and therefore a dramatic increase in calories burn. All with no running!

Here's an example, let's say your speed is 3.5 - put your incline to the same thing or higher - and then monitor your heart rate. You'll see it go up, feel more exertion, burn more calories, and get a waaaaay better leg workout. I am not a trainer or a doctor, so please ensure you do any appropriate checking beforehand, but please give it a go!

For cardio, if I'm not on the treadmill, it is the elliptical, or the revolving stairs. The stairs are amazing. Don't be scared of them. And, don't be afraid that you are going slow. Anyone that has actually been on these torture chambers KNOWS that they kick your ass (almost literally) and going longer on them is better. Start slow and work up to more time. On these things, I personally believe in a longer workout that a slow quick one - but that's me.

Here's this week's round up...
  • Mon - 75 mins
  • Tues - 60 mins
  • Wed - 60 mins
  • Thurs - 66 mins
  • Fri - 60 mins
  • Sat - REST
  • Sun - 90 mins
Tomorrow is weigh in day. Hoping that I will see a drop closer to the previous number. It has been an up/down, up/down, roller coaster. But must remember to be patient. My smallest clothes are fitting and everything else is too big. So the scale is going to have to catch up at some point.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My New Gadget (Hopefully)












In late December/early January, I should be receiving my pre-ordered fit bit tracker. For those of you watching Biggest Losers, you might have noticed that they are wearing a monitor on their arm. That isn't the fit bit, but is another device that functions very similarly. The biggest differences are the size, the cost, and NO ongoing website payments. It is one cool little gadget and only 100 bucks.

It will help me know: Did I get enough exercise today? How many calories did I burn? Am I getting good quality sleep? How many steps and miles did I walk today? The Fitbit Tracker helps you answer these questions. Sweet, huh?

Here's some other stuff from the website...

You can wear the Fitbit Tracker loosely in your pocket, clipped to your pants, shirt, bra or to your wrist when you are sleeping. You can wear it all day!

The Fitbit Tracker is wireless. Walk within 25-50ft of the provided basestation and your data will be automatically uploaded to the Fitbit website. The auto-sync software runs on both Macs and PC's.

View calories, steps and distance on the Fitbit Tracker itself. You can login to the Fitbit website to see even more detailed data and also participate in collaborative fitness goals with friends, family and co-workers.

I can't wait until it gets here! (My only concern is that they are seeing if they get enough orders to go into production. So, please check it out. I want one!!! Think of how many times you have wasted money on weight loss 'stuff'. This is only a drop in the bucket AND will tell you when you are being a sloth.)



I think I am taking today off from the gym, but not sure. Still plenty of time to go. I could just go and do an easy workout. Workouts so far this week have been good...
  • Mon - 75 mins
  • Tues - 60 mins
  • Wed - 60 mins
  • Thurs - 66 mins
  • Fri - 60 mins
  • Sat -????

Hearty Vegetable and Beef Stew - 3 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 3
Servings:
4
Preparation Time:
15 min
Cooking Time:
60 min
Level of Difficulty:
Easy


For a hearty, delicious meal anytime make a batch and freeze it in single portions. When you want a quick meal, just microwave!

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium garlic clove(s), chopped
  • 8 oz lean beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup(s) carrot(s), sliced
  • 1 small green pepper(s), chopped
  • 1 small onion(s), chopped
  • 2 tsp canned tomato paste
  • 2 cup(s) canned beef broth
  • 1/2 cup(s) water
  • 1 cup(s) canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

  • In a Dutch oven, heat oil. Sauté garlic until golden. Brown veal, about 5 minutes; set aside.
  • Add vegetables and cook until tender, 6 minutes. Add tomato paste, broth and water. Return veal to pan.
  • Cover and simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until veal is tender. Season to taste.
  • Add beans; heat through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Yields about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups per serving.
  • Flavor Booster: To enhance the delicate taste of veal, tie 1 bay leaf, a fresh rosemary sprig, 3 or 4 leaves fresh sage and a strip of lemon peel in a muslin packet and simmer with the stew. Remove before serving.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Music

Doesn't good music just make gym torture better? Personally, I think so. I recently added to my ipod (which I love - see post somewhere about that - there's a picture too!) some dance music. It is perfect for getting me going and making sure I get my speed and heart rate up. Check it out!
  • Lady GaGa - Beautiful, Dirty, Rich
  • Lady GaGa - Just Dance
  • Lady GaGa - Poker face
Yes, I know it is all Lady GaGa, but trust me you need to give it a listen. It just makes you want to move!

Gym today: 66 mins. Yep, I count every stinking minute and so should you. This was an evening workout. Normally I do the morning thing. That way 'something' doesn't come up, which for me has been a problem in the past. I was going to take today off and rest, but then decided to go. I am trying to convince myself that 5 days a week is enough, but what happens is that I start thinking well what if I don't want to go on X day? I better just go. Guess when I think about it that is the best use of the what if game EVER!!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I hate my job

Seriously - I don't even think hate is a strong enough word. I don't want to go, of course I do though, and I dread every moment. Even the drive in. It has gotten so bad that even leaving for the day doesn't have the same impact it used to as I'll just have to go in again. Friday is a bit better...until Sunday. I don't know what to do. The economy is bad, company stock is bad, I'd miss out on a bonus...I have to stick it out until at least March of next year. I'll see how it goes, but thought it might help to at least put out here how much I HATE MY J-O-B!!!

AND, of course, it is having an effect on my sleep. Therefore, I am having a hard time getting up in the morning, which makes it very hard to get to the gym at 5:15 am. Yes, I am in a bitchy mood. The beauty is - no one has to read it! So there! ;-)

I will try to adjust my attitude - realize what is in my control, what is in my sphere of influence, what is neither and accept it. A tall order, but I will work on it. Otherwise, I'm not going to make it to March and end up depressed.

Gym: 60 mins. It might have been 65, but not sure - so 60 it is.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Recipe Day

Today is a posting of some good Weight Watcher recipes courtesy of Weight Watchers. Enjoy!

Gym today: 60 mins

Monday, October 06, 2008

south indian curried chickpeas - 3 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Enjoy these chickpeas as a side dish or serve them with basmati rice for a complete meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp packaged shredded coconut, unsweetened if available
  • 1 tsp coriander seed(s)
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper(s), seeded, coarsely chopped (or use 1 hot green chile)
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 medium carrot(s), diced
  • 2 medium tomato(es), seeded and chopped
  • 19 oz canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 Tbsp plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped

Instructions

  • Place coconut, coriander seeds, jalapeno, salt and water in a blender; grind to a paste and set aside.

  • Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Add carrot, tomatoes and chickpeas; cook until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in coconut mixture, cinnamon, cumin and yogurt; reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve hot. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Tuscan Casserole - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 35 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
This is a delicious, low-calorie brunch or vegetable dish. Any dark green, such as kale or escarole, can be substituted for spinach.

Ingredients

  • 15 1/2 oz canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup regular egg substitute
  • 1 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion(s), chopped
  • 2 medium garlic clove(s), chopped
  • 8 oz mushroom(s), sliced
  • 3 slices reduced-calorie bread, torn in small pieces
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Line 9 x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil. In bowl combine beans, spinach, ricotta, egg substitute, salt and pepper.

  • In nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are almost dry and begin to brown, 10 minutes. Add to bean mixture. Spoon into pan and even out top.

  • Sprinkle bread over mixture; top with cheese. Bake until bread is toasted and spinach is warmed through, 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Roasted Garlic Potato Salad - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
We use Yukon Gold potatoes in this barbecue side dish. They have a natural buttery flavor without actual butter.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pound Yukon Gold potato(es), unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 medium garlic clove(s), minced
  • 1/2 cup soft tofu
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spread potatoes on a nonstick baking pan, sprinkle with oil and toss to coat. Roast potatoes 25 minutes; add garlic, toss and roast for 5 minutes more.

  • Meanwhile, place tofu, lemon juice and mustard in a blender; blend until smooth.

  • Place potatoes in a serving bowl; toss with dressing and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.

Peanut Butter Cookies - 1 WW pt

Was Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Now Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 1
Servings: 24
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 10 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Who says peanut butter's off-limits on a diet? Our freezer cookies are such a treat, they'll easily become a family favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp table salt
  • 3 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine, stick-variety
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg white(s)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 sprays cooking spray

Instructions

  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; mix well and set aside.

  • Combine margarine and peanut butter in a mixing bowl; beat on medium speed until blended and smooth. Gradually add both sugars and beat until blended; add egg white and vanilla and beat until smooth. While beating on low speed, gradually add flour mixture and mix until just blended.

  • Transfer dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and roll into an 8-inch log. Wrap log in plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours. (Note: You can make the cookie dough up to 3 days in advance and freeze until ready to bake.)

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.

  • Remove cookie dough from freezer and slice crosswise into about twenty-four 1/3-inch-thick slices; place slices 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden around edges, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Yields 1 cookie per serving.

  • Flavor Booster: Browned margarine has a nutty flavor that enhances a peanut butter cookie. Melt the margarine in a small skillet until it sizzles and just begins to brown. Remove from heat and freeze for 20 minutes, or until firm, before using in recipe.

Chef Tips

  • We renovated Peanut Butter Cookies by:
    • Making them freezer cookies, so less fat is needed (freezing holds the dough together).

    • Using reduced-calorie margarine instead of regular margarine or butter.

    • Swapping reduced-fat peanut butter for regular.

    • Adding an egg white instead of one whole egg.

Parmesan Mashed Potatoes - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
You won't believe you're eating healthy with these tasty potatoes. We made them creamy with buttermilk and then added fabulous flavor with Parmesan cheese and chives.

Ingredients

  • 10 medium potato(es), red (about 2 1/2 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, warmed
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, strong-flavored, grated
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste

Instructions

  • Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with an inch of water; bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer and cook until fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to pot.

  • Mash potatoes with a potato masher. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Yields about 2/3 cup per serving.

Notes

  • Add the bold flavor of wild mushrooms to these mashed potatoes by soaking 1/4 cup of dried shiitake, porcini or black trumpet mushooms in boiling hot water for 10 minutes. Drain well, chop and stir in with the cheese.


Individual Baked Pumpkin Custards - 2 WW pts


Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
The sweetness of these pumpkin custards is offset by a spiced yogurt topping. Each one comes in its own ramekin for easy portion control.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound canned pumpkin, solid, not puree

    Custard Seasonings
  • 4 large egg(s)
  • 4 egg white(s)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free skim milk
  • 1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • 2 tsp McNeil Nutritionals SPLENDA No Calorie Sweetener
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon,

    Topping
  • 2 cup plain fat-free yogurt, Greek-variety recommended
  • 2 tsp McNeil Nutritionals SPLENDA No Calorie Sweetener
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325ºF.

  • To make custard, spoon pumpkin into a large bowl; whisk in custard seasonings.

  • Place eight 4-ounce ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet; fill each ramekin about 3/4 full with custard. Bake for 20 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a knife in center of a custard—if it comes out clean, custards are finished. If not, bake for 5 minutes more and check for donesness again; repeat until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

  • Meanwhile, combine topping ingredients in a medium bowl; mix well and set aside.

  • When custards are cool, top each with about 1/4 cup of yogurt mixture and serve. Yields 1 custard per serving.

Notes

  • You can make the custards one day in advance and store them in the refrigerator. Top with yogurt mixture just before serving.

Creamy Corn - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 7 min
Cooking Time: 16 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Serve this creamy side dish with grilled chicken, pork or beef. It's especially good made with fresh summer corn.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1/4 cup scallion(s), minced
  • 2 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, or fresh corn (no need to thaw frozen corn)
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fat-free skim milk
  • 1/8 tsp table salt, or more to taste
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add scallions and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add corn and sauté 1 minute to heat through (or slightly longer if using frozen corn). Add flour and stir to coat corn and scallions. Add milk and bring to a simmer.

  • Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, until mixture thickens, about 10 to 12 minutes; season to taste with salt and pepper. Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.

Creamy Coleslaw - 1 WW pt

Was Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 8
Now Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 1
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 0 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Richly-flavored sesame oil and piquant cilantro add a distinctly Asian flavor to America's favorite side dish — lightened up.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound packaged coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
  • 1 medium red onion(s), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss until thoroughly combined. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Chef Tips

We Renovated Coleslaw by:
  • Using fat-free mayonnaise instead of regular.

  • Adding a touch of sesame oil and cilantro to boost flavor for virtually no POINTS.

Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 16
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Chase the winter blues away with these delicious reduced-fat brownies.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 large egg white(s)
  • 2 oz light cream cheese, softened (about 3 1/2 tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.

  • Combine flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, cocoa and baking powder in a medium-size bowl; mix well. Add canola oil, water and egg whites; mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon and spread batter evenly into prepared pan.

  • Combine cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla in a small bowl; blend well. Drop small spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture over brownie batter; swirl gently with a knife to create a decorative pattern.

  • Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting into 16 bars.

Corn Casserole - 3 WW pts

Was Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 5
Now Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 65 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Magazine reader Kathie asked for a renovation for the corn casserole she makes at family BBQs. We upped the veggies and dropped the butter to help lighten it up.

Ingredients

  • 2 sprays cooking spray, divided
  • 1 slice bacon, uncooked, finely diced
  • 2/3 cup onion(s), diced
  • 2/3 cup sweet red pepper(s), diced
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 14 3/4 oz canned cream-style white corn
  • 3 medium corn on the cob, kernels removed* (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute
  • 3/4 cup low-fat Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 3/4 cup seasoned croutons, whole-grain, coarsely crushed

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 2-quart shallow baking dish with nonstick spray.

  • Cook bacon in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Pour off and discard drippings from skillet.

  • Add onion to skillet. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.

  • Transfer vegetables to a large bowl and let cool 5 minutes. Stir in bacon, canned corn, fresh corn, egg substitute, cheese, salt and ground pepper. Spread corn mixture in baking dish. Top evenly with croutons and lightly spray croutons with cooking spray. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is golden and center is set, about 15 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.

Notes

  • *To remove the corn kernels from the cobs, cut off the ends of each cob. Stand the cob on its end, holding it near the top. Hold a knife parallel to the cob and cut off the kernels using a sawing motion.

Chef Tips

  • We renovated Corn Casserole by:
    • Increasing the amount of vegetables.

    • Omitting the butter and relying on cooking spray to cook the bacon and vegetables.

    • Decreasing the total amount of fattening bacon and finely dicing it to help sprinkle it throughout the casserole.

Choc-Peanut Frozen Cookies - 1 WW pt

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 1
Servings: 16
Preparation Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 10 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
If you love dark chocolate, you're bound to love these: a decadent way to cool off on a hot summer day.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fat-free skim milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa, powder
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 2 tsp canola oil

Instructions

  • Mix milk, cocoa powder and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat.

  • Bring to boil, then remove from heat. Add peanut butter and stir into mix until melted.

  • Stir in oatmeal and oil.

  • Drop 16 spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Freeze for at least four hours; they are better the day after you make them. Yields one cookie per serving.



Choc Marshmallow Fudge - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 36
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 5 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Sure, you can buy a box of store-bought chocolates or you can make your own rich fudge at home without any fancy candy-making equipment.

Ingredients

  • 1 sprays cooking spray
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine
  • 12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 14 large marshmallow(s)

Instructions

  • Coat an 8- X 8-inch pan with cooking spray.

  • In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, evaporated milk and margarine; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes.

  • Stir in chocolate and marshmallows; remove pan from heat and stir until smooth.

  • Pour mixture into prepared pan and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into thirty-six 1 1/3-inch squares and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Notes

  • Store fudge in refrigerator. Or freeze for a firmer consistency.

Choc Choc Chip Cookies - 1 WW pt

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 1
Servings: 40
Preparation Time: 11 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Indulge your sweet tooth by biting into crisp chocolate cookies packed with melted pockets of chocolate chips.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar, granulated
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 large egg white(s)
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, miniature
  • 1 sprays cooking spray

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

  • Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy; gradually add granulated sugar, beating well. Add cocoa and egg whites, beating well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until blended. Stir in chocolate minichips.

  • Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 11⁄2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Cool on pans 2 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks. Yield: 40 cookies (serving size: 1 cookie).

Chocolate Chip Cookies - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 24
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 12 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Whole-grain flour adds both a health and flavor-boost to these fantastic homemade favorites.

Ingredients

  • 2 sprays cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup light cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg(s)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole-grain wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, unbleached
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp fat-free skim milk
  • 6 oz mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.

  • Beat cream cheese and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer until sugar is fully incorporated (should not have granules); add egg and vanilla and blend again.

  • Combine both flours, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.

  • Add half the flour mixture to the cream cheese mixture; beat until well incorporated. Add milk and remaining flour mixture; beat until fully blended and then fold in chips.

  • Drop heaping teaspoons of dough onto prepared cookie sheet and press dough down with dampened fingers to form 1-inch cookies. Make sure to leave at least an inch between each cookie. Bake cookies until slightly golden on top, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 1 to 2 minutes; remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Yields 1 cookie per serving.

Notes

  • Want to bake just a few cookies at a time? Roll the raw cookie dough into a log using wax paper and freeze it. To bake, just slice off a few cookies at a time and set them on a prepared cookie sheet. Increase the baking time by 1 to 2 minutes.

Chicken Salad Recipe - 3 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 0 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
We lightened up this sandwich favorite with reduced-calorie mayonnaise and sour cream. For a Waldorf-like chicken salad, stir in 1/3 cup of diced apples and 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts.*

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound cooked chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup dill pickle(s), or sweet gherkins, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, fresh, chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a large bowl; mix until blended. Yields about 2/3 cup per serving.

Notes

  • *Could affect POINTS values.

Cauliflower Poppers - 0 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 0
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 10 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Great as a side dish or as a snack. An unbeatable combo of flavor, texture and spice.

Ingredients

  • 1 sprays cooking spray
  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

  • Cut cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces (there should be about 4 cups). Place cauliflower in a medium bowl and add cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper; toss well to coat.

  • Spread cauliflower on prepared baking sheet and bake until cauliflower is tender, but not mushy, stirring halfway through, about 10 minutes. Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.

Individual Ham, Cheese and Veggie Frittatas - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 8
Prep time : 15 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 sprays cooking spray
  • 1 pound frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 4 large egg(s), beaten
  • 1 Tbsp fat-free skim milk
  • 1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 oz cooked lean ham, finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup sweet red pepper(s), finely chopped (2 Tbsp)
  • 1/8 cup green pepper(s), finely chopped (2 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp onion(s), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 8 muffin tin holes with cooking spray. Spread potatoes around bottom and press potato up sides of each muffin hole; place in oven and cook for 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, beat eggs and milk together in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add ham, peppers, onion and cheese to bowl; mix to combine.

  • Remove potatoes from oven (after cooking for 10 minutes) and press potatoes down firmly with a spoon so that they are spread out like mini piecrusts (potatoes should cover bottom and sides of each hole). Pour about 1/4 cup of egg mixture into the center of each muffin hole.

  • Return pan to oven and cook until potatoes are crisp and golden, and the egg mixture is set, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit about 5 minutes before serving. Yields 1 frittata per serving.

Zucchini Flan - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 12
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Here’s a simple brunch or side dish. Change the flavor by adding mint or basil to the parsley. Or spice it up with red pepper flakes or diced chilies.

Ingredients

  • 7 small zucchini, trimmed and shredded*
  • 2 sprays olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 large egg(s), beaten
  • 3/4 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp fresh oregano, minced or 1/4 tsp dried
  • 1/3 cup parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Steam, parboil or microwave shredded zucchini until soft but not mushy, about 2 to 7 minutes, depending on cooking method; drain thoroughly and allow to cool.

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a 9- X 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked zucchini, eggs, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese and oil; pour into prepared baking dish. Bake until center sets, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting into 12 pieces. Serve hot, warm or chilled. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Notes

  • *Use a food processor or a mandolin to quickly and easily shred the zucchini. Or you can use the large holes of a box grater.

Warm Pear Cobbler - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 18 min
Cooking Time: 45 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Take the chill out of a cold winter night with this delicious, homey dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 sprays cooking spray
  • 3 medium pear(s), peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole-grain wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

  • Combine pears, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of flour, lemon juice and cinnamon in a large bowl; toss to coat pears and pour mixture into prepared baking dish.

  • In a medium-size bowl, combine the remaining flours, remaining brown sugar and baking powder; cut in margarine with a pastry blender, or quickly with your fingertips, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and toss with a fork until flour mixture is moist.

  • Drop four heaping tablespoons of dough onto pear mixture. Bake until crust is lightly browned and fruit is bubbly, about 40 to 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, dust with powdered sugar and cut into 6 pieces.

Pumpkin Souffle - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 10
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 50 min
Level of Difficulty: Difficult
The use of Neufchatel cheese makes this soufflé taste like a warm pumpkin cheesecake, but with much less fat and fewer calories.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin, puree
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • 4 oz Neufchatel cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 large egg(s), separated
  • 1 large egg white(s)
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 2 1/2-quart soufflé dish with cooking spray, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Over medium heat, cook pumpkin until no longer steaming, about 8 minutes. Mix together cornstarch and evaporated milk, whisk into pumpkin. Bring to boil; remove from heat and cool.

  • Beat Neufchatel with pumpkin pie spice and ginger; beat in yolks to combine. Beat in cooled pumpkin mixture.

  • Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/3 cup sugar one tablespoon at a time until stiff. In three additions, fold whites into pumpkin mixture. Pour into prepared dish. Bake until puffed and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.

Cranberry-Pumpkin Bars - 3 WW pts

POINTS® Value: 3
Servings: 18
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 25 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
For these delicious bars, if you don`t have pumpkin pie spice in your pantry, substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg, ginger and clove.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp reduced-calorie margarine, soft, at room teperature
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin, puree
  • 1 large egg(s)
  • 1 large egg white(s)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Lightly coat a 9x13-inch (23x33 cm) baking pan with cooking spray, then dust lightly with flour.

  • In a large bowl, cream sugar and margarine with an electric mixer; beat in egg, egg white, pumpkin purée and buttermilk.

  • In medium bowl, combine flour, oats, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Stir into pumpkin mixture just until moistened, then add cranberries and mix gently.

  • Spread batter in pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until center springs back when gently pressed. Cool and cut into 18 bars.

Tuscan Pumpkin-White Bean Soup - 2 WW pts

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 12 min
Cooking Time: 18 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
This soup has a delicious and complex taste. It's the perfect thing to perk up sleepy winter taste buds!

Ingredients

  • 1 sprays olive oil cooking spray, or enough to coat pot
  • 1 medium onion(s), coarsely chopped
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth
  • 15 1/2 oz canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 6 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Coat a large soup pot with cooking spray and set over medium-low heat. Add onion, cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

  • Stir in pumpkin, broth, beans and oregano; simmer 8 minutes.

  • In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. (Note: Make sure not to overfill blender in order to avoid splattering.) Return soup to pot and reheat; season with salt and pepper.

  • To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top each with 1 tablespoon of grated cheese. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese (1 WW pts)


Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 1
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 7 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
The rich, nutty flavor of freshly grated Parmesan cheese pairs beautifully with cauliflower. Try the same recipe with broccoli, baby carrots and asparagus, too.

Ingredients

  • 6 cup cauliflower, florets, fresh (about 1 head), or frozen and thawed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano suggested

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450ºF.

  • In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, oil, salt and pepper; toss to combine. Transfer cauliflower to a large baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Roast until cauliflower is golden brown, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, place in serving bowl and sprinkle with cheese; toss to mix. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.

Notes

  • When you want variety, use shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese instead of Parmesan.

It's official...(And Mexican Lasanga Recipe - 6 WW pts

THREE pound gain. That's right, it IS official. The wonderful post about the 4 lbs lost was CRAP! I had said at the time that I didn't believe it and for good reason. GRRRRRRR! I figure the liquids didn't help either as they tend to screw me up.

OH WELL, just get back at it! That's all I can do. So, I went to the gym this morning and worked out 75 mins. Followed that up by a good day of eating and drinking water. All I can do is keep going. Cause all my clothes are fitting, so the weight has to come off and reflect it on the scale at some point. (Patience people patience! It is a virtue in weightloss. Nothing happens overnight.)

The sucky news is that I am at 150.5 lbs. So, I'm not even at my band goal weight - waaaaaaaa! Dang it, I'm obsessing.
  • Start: 158.5 on 8/12/2008 - Why? Not eating right, not exercising, etc.
  • Current: 150.5 - loss of 8 lbs in 8 weeks
  • Change this week: Gain of THREE pounds!!!
  • Goal: 143
So now what? Keep eating right and exercising. Stay away from TWO things - (1) the scale and (2) liquor. Reality - I *might* be able to stay away from the scale, but if I go out with friends, I have to be realistic that I will have 1 or 2.


Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 6
Servings: 12
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 45 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
This Mexican lasagna will last up to five days in the refrigerator. It's a terrific make-ahead meal from our Cook Once, Eat All Week Series.

Ingredients

  • 1 sprays olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 30 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese, divided
  • 8 oz chopped green chilies, two 4-oz cans
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 12 medium corn tortilla(s), cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 cup salsa, mild, medium or hot

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a lasagna pan with cooking spray.

  • Place chicken in medium saucepan and fill with enough cold water just to cover chicken. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes; drain. When chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into 1-inch pieces.

  • Transfer chicken to a large bowl and add beans, sour cream, 1 cup of shredded cheese, chilies, cumin, and pepper; mix well and set aside.

  • Arrange half of tortillas in bottom of prepared lasagna pan, overlapping pieces to cover surface. Top tortillas with half of chicken mixture, layer with remaining tortillas and then top with remaining chicken mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese.

  • Bake until filling is bubbly and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing into 12 pieces. Serve with salsa on the side.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Uh oh...

I stood on the scale. Yes, I realize it isn't Monday and I was so dang close as well to NOT getting on the damn thing! But I was weak! Oh well, it isn't official, but the great weight loss as I feared bounced back up. (I'll say how much tomorrow on OFFICIAL weigh-in day.)

I still think it likely has something to do with me going on liquids for 5 days. The good news is since Thursday - no reflux (heart burn) whatsoever and my restriction is back. Hence my theory, which I am 99.9% positive about, I had stretched (dilated) my pouch a bit. Unlike 95% of the banded population, you put me on liquids - and everything stalls. Sometimes scale even goes UP. Have no idea why and try not to think about it, but it was necessary for me to do it.

For anyone that is keeping track - 'Nice Guy' is history. I'm not sad about it at all, just a little irritated about what happened and how it ended. I had been thinking for a couple weeks that I wasn't that into him, so this was probably for the best. Honestly, I miss the idea of him (having plans with a guy on the weekend, etc.) than I miss him. That definitely should be an indicator that this was not a 'love connection'.

There isn't much on my 'guy list' - but doing what you say you are going to do and being where you say you are going to be ON TIME is important. Being 50 mins late, wondering why I'm irritated, and saying that I am being ridiculous is not acceptable. OH, and then going off in a huff and not calling the next day only adds to it. (Maybe I'm still not completely over it, huh?!) I take great satisfaction that a friend of mine told me that he heard that 'Nice Guy' was at a bar after getting totally plowed. So plowed in fact that he could barely walk. Hmmm, would that because you felt GUILTY? (At least that is what I'm sticking with.) Good grief.

It has been a busy weekend. Hanging out with friends, doing some chores (which I am behind on and trying to catch up on now), shopping (ahhhhh, I love shoes), getting hair done, etc. Wow! That is a lot.

Here's my gym recap for the week. Notice two days off, but I went ahead and did a longer workout today. Will report in with the not good weight news officially tomorrow.
  • Mon - 60 mins
  • Tues - 60 mins
  • Wed - 60 mins
  • Thurs - REST
  • Fri - 56 mins
  • Sat - REST
  • Sun - 101 mins

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

One Day Left!

Of the liquids. And, let me tell you, I am so ready. I have had some soft food - yogurt, jello, etc. - but looking forward to some real food. I felt full on the yogurt last night, so I take that as a good sign that my pouch is getting back in shape and recovering from the suspected dilation. Therefore, definitely ending the self-imposed liquids tomorrow, which will be the fifth day.

I can't tell you how paranoid I am that this will stall or screw up the weight loss so far. *Sigh* Although, I am proud of myself because I have NOT stepped on the scale. If I can only stay strong until Monday.

I am a big believer in the 'tan fat looks better than white fat' slogan. Unfortunately, I am the whitest of white. I cannot tan. The only thing that is a for sure - a good burn. Nope, doesn't turn into tan. I'm just white or red. So, let me tell you decent spray tan has always been a dream of mine. Well, I've found it! Mystic Tan - In Texas it is at Palm Beach Tan and I am soooooo addicted. I love being tan. It is more of an art than a science to get it to look good, but I am getting the hang of it and am on an unlimited plan so can go do it whenever I want. In fact, I need to consider going tonight. Not much else going on.

Oh btw - you get in this big booth thing and it is kinda like a car wash for spray tan. You get in and step on some numbers, turn as directions tell you from 'mystical' voice (ha), and spray happens. Uh, 'cause I am not getting the kind where someone puts it on you. No way jose.

[If there is anyone interested in the tricks for a good tan, let me know in the comments. Yep, it's also a trick to see if there is anyone out there reading...regardless, I find that this kinda supplements my food journal and keeps me honest, so I'll keep going.]

Gym today: 60 mins