Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bubble Up Enchilada

Bubble Up Enchilada
Source: ATTY2DE

1 pound ground turkey
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 can reduced fat refrigerator biscuits
1 ¼ cups shredded low fat Mexican Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown turkey and drain if needed. Mix in a can of enchilada sauce and tomato sauce. Cut the refrigerated biscuits into fourths and stir them in the meat mixture. Then you just dump it all in a greased casserole and bake for 25 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

You can make this into 6 or 8 servings.

Serves 8; 5 PointsPlus+
Serves 6; 7 PointsPlus+

For Recipe Review, click here.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Friday!!

Happy Friday Everyone!!

What is it about Fridays that makes them the best day of the week?

This Friday is extra special, because Jon got the night off, so that we could go to the Great Texas Balloon Race !! This is the first year that we are going to be in town for this event and I can't wait to go. It is a weekend long event. Tonight we are going with our friends Bryan and Tabitha, to watch the balloon glows.

I was so excited this morning when I saw some balloons on my way to work. I was like a kid in a candy store! I squealed and then proceeded to take pictures of the balloons while I was driving. This is not recommended and you should not follow my bad example…Drive Safe People! I posted one of the pictures I took below.

I look forward to sharing more pictures with you later!!

What do you have planned for this weekend?

Orange-Ginger Chicken

Orange-Ginger Chicken
Source: Cooking Light, JUNE 1997

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon chili oil
4 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
1/2 cup orange marmalade
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon water
2 garlic cloves, minced

Heat oils in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Add marmalade and remaining ingredients; cook 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional Information:
Calories 247; Fat 3.1g; Protein 27.1g; Carbohydrate 28.3g; Fiber 0.0g
Points+ 6

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cheese Enchilada Casserole

Cheese Enchilada Casserole
Source: NCBeaches

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped tomato
1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1/3 cup sliced green onions
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
9 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cooking spray
1 cup taco sauce (such as Ortega)
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Arrange 3 tortillas in bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread half of cheese mixture over tortillas. Repeat procedure with 3 tortillas and remaining cheese mixture; top with remaining tortillas.

Pour taco sauce over tortillas; sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until cheese melts.

Yield: 4 servings


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Turkey Enchilada Casserole

Turkey Enchilada Casserole
Source: Sunset, SEPTEMBER 2002

Notes: If desired, serve with reduced-fat sour cream.

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salad oil
1 can (29 oz.) red enchilada sauce
12 corn tortillas (6 in. wide)
2 cups shredded reduced-fat jack cheese (8 oz.)
Chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, stir turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin in oil until turkey is crumbly and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup enchilada sauce. Add salt to taste.
2. Meanwhile, cut tortillas in half. Arrange a fourth of the halves evenly over the bottom of a shallow 3-quart casserole, overlapping to fit. Sprinkle a fourth of the cheese evenly over the tortillas, then top with a third of the turkey mixture and a fourth of the remaining enchilada sauce, spreading each level. Repeat to make two more layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey mixture, and sauce; top with another layer of tortillas and sauce, then cheese.

3. Bake in a 425° regular or convection oven until cheese is melted and casserole is hot in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Spicy Steak Fries

Spicy Steak Fries
Source: NCBeaches

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large baking potatoes, each cut lengthwise into 12 wedges (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 teaspoons seasoning blend (such as Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400°.
Spread oil on a jelly-roll pan. Place potato wedges on pan. Sprinkle with seasoning; toss gently to coat. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with salt.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 6 wedges)


Monday, July 26, 2010

Taking Care of Your Skin

Here is the latest Get Fit email from Dr. Jacobs.

Here are some new rules and ideas related to sunscreen use. It may be closing in on the end of the summer, but we need to stay vigilant.

New rules for sunscreen in the works

In 1993, the Food and Drug Administration proposed new regulations for sunscreens. Significant delays have occurred as the FDA wrestled with changing science, the finer points of testing and labeling requirements, and a flood of public comments. New rules were finally scheduled to go into effect in May 2010, but the FDA postponed the target date to October 2010.

Here are a few of the proposed changes:
Companies would test and rank UVA protection, not just UVB. The invisible ultraviolet light that affects the skin is divided into two categories, ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). UVB is the main cause of sunburn and the more carcinogenic of the two, although both contribute to skin cancer. UVA, which moves at a longer wavelength and is more penetrating, is responsible for tanning and contributes to skin aging.

Many sunscreens currently on the market promise “broad spectrum” protection against both UVA and UVB, but the manufacturers can use whatever tests they want to back up that claim.

Under the new rules, sunscreens would be required to undergo two types of assessments of their UVA-blocking power: a test of the sunscreen itself and another one that compares how fast skin tans with and without the product on. There would be no SPF-like rating, instead, sunscreens would be ranked as providing low, medium, high, or highest UVA protection, with corresponding stars (one for low, two for medium, and so on). Sunscreens won’t be required to block UVA, but the label would have to say “No UVA protection” if the product didn’t.

SPF tops out at 50+. The SPF is a comparison between the time it takes the skin to turn red with and without sunscreen. The number is calculated like this: if a person normally experiences the onset of redness on unprotected skin after 10 minutes of exposure, an SPF-15 sunscreen would provide protection for 150 minutes. Several years ago the FDA said the data it had received supported SPFs up to 50, so it proposed a cap of 50+. That cap may go up in the final rules. Originally the agency was going to draw the line at 30+.

Sun protection factor gets a new name. The term “sun protection factor” is misleading because it’s a measure only of sunburn and UVB protection, not protection against the entire UV spectrum. The proposed rules acknowledge the misnomer and would change the name to sunburn protection factor.

UVA and UVB get equal billing. The FDA is proposing to require that the sunscreen label have a statement that mentions the importance of both UVA and UVB protection. In addition to the SPF number, UVB protection will be described as low, medium, high, and highest, so it matches the new UVA rating system. The agency is also proposing that the information about UVA and UVB be printed in the same font and type size.

Generous and liberal use still encouraged. Most people use less than half the amount of the sunscreen required to get the SPF protection on the label. So far, the FDA has rejected suggestions that would change SPF testing so it would reflect more realistic amounts of sunscreen. Another suggestion was to have the label on the bottle spell out quantities per application. But under the rules as proposed, the label would continue to say that sunscreen should be applied “liberally” or “generously” before sun exposure.

Reapplication emphasized. Even a fairly weak sunscreen can provide protection in intense sunlight if it’s reapplied often. The new rules would tighten up the reapplication language. The label on many sunscreens would suggest reapplying sunscreen at least every two hours and after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel.

Consumers get a new warning. The FDA wants to get rid of an optional “sun alert” and replace it with a mandatory one that will be labeled as a warning. This is the proposed wording: “UV exposure from the sun increases the risk of skin cancer, premature aging, and other skin damage. It is important to decrease UV exposure by limiting time in the sun, wearing protective clothing, and using a sunscreen.”

No skin aging or skin cancer claims allowed. Despite the new warning, sunscreen makers would not be allowed to claim their products reduce skin aging or prevent skin cancer. As of this writing, the FDA had taken the position that such claims would be misleading because of the lack of data showing that sunscreen alone prevents skin aging or cancer. The agency has also said prevention of sunburn or certain kinds of cellular damage can’t be extrapolated to prevention of skin cancer.

Crunchy Sassy Chinese Slaw

Crunchy Sassy Chinese Slaw
Source: NCBeaches

One 16-oz. package Broccoli Cole Slaw
1 cup canned water chestnuts, drained and sliced into thin strips
1 cup canned mandarin orange segments packed in water or juice, drained and chopped (and rinsed, if packed in juice)
1 cup chopped scallions
2/3 cup Newman's Own Lighten Up Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing
1/4 cup slivered almonds

In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together, and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir well before serving.


PER SERVING (about 1 cup): 111 calories, 3.5g fat, 375mg sodium, 17.5g carbs, 4g fiber, 10g sugars, 3g protein

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Restart Comic

After Friday's blogs, "Hitting the Restart Button" and "Restart Your Weight Loss" I thought that you would appreciate this as much as I did.

Peanut Butter-Fudge Cups

Peanut Butter-Fudge Cups
Source: Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2001

1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold water
Cooking spray

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 teaspoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare crust, place first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Lightly spoon 1 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour and salt to peanut butter mixture; cut in flour with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle surface with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time; toss with a fork until combined.

Shape mixture into 24 balls. Place 1 ball in each of 24 miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Press dough into bottoms and up sides of muffin cups.

To prepare filling, combine 2/3 cup brown sugar and the next 4 ingredients (2/3 cup brown sugar through milk) in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons flour and egg until well blended. Divide chocolate mixture evenly among muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until the pastry is lightly browned; cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Run a knife around outside edges of cups. Remove cups from pan; cool completely on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Yield: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 cup)

Nutritional Information:
Calories 92; Fat 3.4g; Protein 1.7g; Carbohydrate 14.6g; Fiber 0.5g
Points+ 3

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Asian Peanut Butter Pork Chops

Asian Peanut Butter Pork Chops
Source: SEXTON1977

1.5-2lbs pork tenderloin
1 onion, sliced in rings
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used La Choy; it's gluten free)
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons water
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts (garnish; optional)
1 lime, cut in wedges (garnish; optional)

Use a 4-6 quart crockpot. Put onion slices into the bottom of your crockpot. Put the pork on top. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, water, garlic, and peanut butter. No need to stir--the peanut butter needs to melt before you can do so. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4-6. The pork will be more tender the longer you cook it. 1 hour before serving, flip the meat over in the crockpot to allow the other side to soak up the peanutbuttery goodness. Garnish with chopped peanuts, and serve with lime wedges. The lime juice mixed with the peanut butter is delicious.

Serves 6-8

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hitting the Restart Button

I did it! I pushed the restart button, that button right there. It felt so good!!

Did you press the restart button? Do you need to? Go ahead press it and then read the notes from my Weight Watchers meeting on July 20, 2010, click here.

You might be wondering why I needed to push a button like this when I have already reached my goal, but let me explain. At my Weight Watchers meeting on July 13th we talked about plateaus. Ever since that meeting I have come to understand that for the first time in my Weight Loss journey, I hit a plateau. I wondered, “How could I be in a plateau and not even know it?” However, what I learned in that meeting was that plateaus can come in all shapes and sizes, both physical and emotional.

The only plateau that I ever thought about avoiding was a plateau in my weight loss. While losing weight I tried to do everything in my power to keep my weight loss going. I was successful and able to reach Lifetime in November 2009. Since that time I have done a very good job of staying within my healthy weight range. I have continued to attend meets and make healthy choices for myself. However, over the last month things have changed. I felt like it is all slipping away from me. I feel like my hands are full of sand and there is no way to stop it as the sand quickly falls through my fingers.

You see I have reached an emotional plateau. My desire to eat anything I want has become more important than my desire to eat healthy and take care of myself. As this happens I slowly become more and more relaxed about the habits I had once created for myself. This relaxation leads to weight gain. My success was found in the Lord and the discipline that He gave me and I have lost that.

I desperately need a restart. This restart will not include me losing weight again. However, I do need to get my head back in the game remembering how far I have come and getting back to basics.

Before Weight Watchers

After Weight Watchers

I am also going to go through the ten steps that I need to help me get back on track. This is going to be a lot of work, but I am worth it. I do not want to let all of my weight loss efforts be undone, because I lost my focus. I will try to blog as I complete each step to getting back on track.

Do you feel like I do? Do you need a fresh start? You are not alone. Let’s do it together! I would love to hear your story.

Restart Your Weight Loss!!

Here is a summary of my Weight Watchers meeting on July 20, 2010.

Definition of Restart – Merriam-Webster Dictionary
1 : to start a new
2 : to resume (as an activity) after interruption

Why restart?

Some of us may feel “plateauing” or that we’re “stuck”, not losing at the rate we hoped, or simply bored with our meals and choices, feel we are off track and can’t get back. Even the most disciplined person can get off track. Life happens! Unfortunately, many people get discouraged and overwhelmed with guilt and frustration which may cause them to give up on their goal. If you are facing challenges at the scale, this week’s meeting showed you ways to help get back your focus and back on track with your weight loss. Are you ready for this? I want you to push that restart button you see above you… go ahead and press your little finger to the screen…it will make you feel better. Done it yet? Okay you have just officially hit restart on your weight loss. Do you remember your very first week on weight watchers? I want you to pretend that you have just walked out of your first weight watcher meeting. The following steps are what you need to do to get back on track and start losing…CAUTION: before going any further you must have pushed that restart button!

1. Reread your week 1 book: Start eating Smarter from cover to cover. That book alone is packed with tons and tons of information about this program.

2. While reading be sure to focus on those Good Healthy Guidelines. Remember those guys? That’s getting in your servings of fruits and veggies, lean proteins, dairy, whole grains, vitamins, liquids, oils , activity, and limiting that good ole’ sugar and alcohol. According to the national weight registry surverys taken by people who have lost over 50lbs and have kept it off over a 5 year period have all of those things in common! Each day they are getting in their GHG’s. Hmmm….maybe there IS a reason to eat them.

3. Go home and go through all of your cabinets, pantry, drawers, and fridge. Clean out all of that tempting “junk” that has led you astray! If it tempts you get rid of it! Next step is to go shopping and stock up on all those healthy food choices. Take your calculator with you and figure up the points values of foods before you bring them home! Remember you can’t eat healthy foods if you never bring them through your front door! To eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies you must buy fruits and veggies!
Speaking of which…this seems like as good a time as any to tell you about this week’s fruit and veggie challenge! This week try at least one fruit/veggie you have never had before…or try a familiar fruit and veggie in a new way. Maybe cooked differently or in a new recipe!

4. Track like you have never tracked before! Write everything (and I do mean everything) down. All of those BLT’s- Bites, licks, and tastes add up at the end of the day! That swig of sweet tea, or handful of m&m’s still has points in it. You don’t need anything fancy to track all you need is a writing utensil and something to write on. Chalk, crayon, paper towel, or napkin anything will do. We know how tracking can “make us” or “break us!”

5. Choose more filling foods. Those filling foods offer you the best nutrition possible and the best part is they keep you from being hungry. If you are wanting to try something different try a week of following the SIMPLY FILLING TECHNIQUE. What this is, is kind of like the old CORE plan. What you do is you eat only filling foods throughout the day, as much as you need to be satisfied not stuffed. You only have to count points when you want to eat something that isn’t a filling food. You still have your 35 extra points a week that you can use on foods that are not filling.

6. Limit your 0 points foods to 5 a day. Sometimes we go “overboard” with 0 points foods that eventually sum up to more than 0 points. We also miss out on necessary nutrients we should be getting from our food, and which will help us to lose weight.

7. Measure everything! Some of us think that we are experts (been doing this program for forever) and we think that we can just look at something and know how much it is. Familiarize yourself with your measuring cups and spoons. Remember a teaspoon is a leveled off spoon not that big heaping mound that you have been using!

8. Move more. Yup I said it! Move more every chance you get. Take a walk, ride your bike, climb those stairs, ha how about actually going to that gym that you have a membership to? You can do it don’t be intimidated by activity. It is an amazing stress reliever and really helps you to burn more calories thus losing weight faster. We have several amazing workout dvds that we offer that help introduce you to activity. The Get Moving DVD and the NEXT Move dvds are just ten bucks! They each offer several different work outs so that you can pick which one best suits you. We also have the new belly butt and thighs kit and the punch kit available!

9. Non scale victories are victories too! Remember all that you have accomplished. Think back to the way you used to eat and just look at what a difference you have made! How are your clothes fitting? How do you feel? How are you sleeping? Success isn’t about just what is on that scale!

10. Tell yourself that you can do it! Losing weight is not easy but yet you are pushing yourself and taking every step possible to be healthy and I am so proud of you. Don’t give up now just simply restart!

Have a wonderful week! sure you hit that restart button!!

Curried Peanut Shrimp

Curried Peanut Shrimp
Source: Cooking Light, JULY 1999

1/3 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon chile sauce with garlic
32 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 pound)
Cooking spray

Combine the first 9 ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade. Place remaining marinade mixture in a large zip-top plastic bag, and add shrimp. Seal and shake to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.
Prepare grill or broiler.

Remove shrimp from bag, reserving marinade. Thread shrimp onto each of 4 (12-inch) skewers. Place kebabs on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 3 minutes on each side or until shrimp are done, basting frequently with remaining marinade. Spoon reserved 1/4 cup marinade over shrimp.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 8 shrimp)

Nutritional Information:
Calories 228; Fat 6.2g; Protein 19.6g; Carbohydrate 24.6g; Fiber 0.3g
Points+ 6

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Orange Salad

Orange Salad
Source: NCBeaches

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups orange sections (about 3 large oranges)
3 cups torn romaine lettuce
3 cups torn red leaf lettuce
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

To prepare vinaigrette, combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Set aside.

To prepare salad, combine orange sections, romaine, red leaf lettuce, and spinach in a large bowl. Add onion and cheese. Pour vinaigrette over salad mixture; toss gently to coat.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 2 cups)
FAT 3.9g
FIBER 5.1g

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Black Bean Brownies

Black Bean Brownies
Source: Amanda Robinson

1 can Black Beans
1 box of no pudge brownie mix
1 cup Water

Rinse and drain black beans. Combine water with rinsed beans and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Combine bean mixture with brownie mix and bake as directed.

*Do not add yogurt to the brownie mix*

Servings 12, 3 Pointsplus+, Points 2
. . . . . . . . . .

Black Bean Brownies
Source: Amanda Robinson

1 can Black Beans
1 box of Betty Crocker Low Fat brownie mix
1 cup Water

Rinse and drain black beans. Combine water with rinsed beans and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Combine bean mixture with brownie mix and bake as directed.

Serves 12, 6 Pointsplus+, Points 4
Serves 16, 4 Pointplus+, Points 3
Serves 20, 4 Pointsplus+, Points 2

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Week in Review

I always debate with myself about whether or not I should share things from my personal life on my blog. I mean I do share personal details about my weight loss, but there are parts of my life that I haven’t known whether or not to incorporate them into my blog. However, I’ve decided that this blog is about me things that I want to talk about so I can go ahead and change the rules whenever I want.

So here are so highlights from last week.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Our absolute favorite way to spend time with people we love is to share a meal with them. My husband Jon lived in China for most of his life and he really enjoys preparing Chinese food for people. It is not very points friendly, but I always save up my weekly points so that I can eat the foods I enjoy and don’t get to eat very often. Jon cooked up some of our favorite Chinese dishes for dinner and Mango Sticky Rice for dessert! We all tried eating with chopsticks and all of us, except for Jon, caved in and resorted to eating with our forks. It was such a fun time. Here are some pictures below of our dinner together.

Sunday, July 18, 2010
My husband is a pilot and we had the opportunity to fly to Louisiana with our friends Shane and Courtney. We met Shane and Courtney in our Sunday school class at church. Courtney and I have very similar personalities and it has been a joy to get to know them both over the last few years that we have been at church together.

We flew to Shreveport and at lunch at a Mexican Restaurant named Superior. It was so good. Then we made our way back to Texas. We flew through some rain. But the coolest part was flying over Shane and Courtney's home. They were so excited! We were so blessed to be able to go flying with friends and share our passion for flight with others.

Here are some pictures from our time together.

Angel Food Bars

Angel Food Bars
Source: DORIEDO2

16 ounces angel food cake mix
1 (1 1/2 ounce) package fat-free chocolate instant pudding mix
2 cups skim milk

Mix together. Pour in a 9 x 13 inch sprayed cake pan. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Good with a little fat-free whipped topping.

Serves 18; 3 pointsplus+

NI: Calories 105 Total Fat 0.2g Dietary Fiber 0.1g

For Recipe Review, click here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Managing Your Environment

Here is the latest email from Dr. Jacobs.

Managing Your Environment

Our current environment makes it very difficult to eat healthy and be physically active; and, in fact, promotes the consumption of high-fat, high-calorie foods, and discourages physical activity. For instance, the use of automobiles, escalators, and movable walkways reduce the amount of physical activity or steps an individual takes each day. Although we cannot change everything around us, we can learn how to manage our surroundings to help encourage healthy eating and physical activity.

While we do have control over our behavior, we often act in response to certain cues in our environment. A cue is a signal, prompt, or reminder to do something. For example, when you go to the movies, you may smell and see popcorn, which will make you want to buy popcorn. In the past, you have ordered popcorn and thus, now when you go to the movies, you have learned to pair up the two items together. When you think of the movies, you immediately think of popcorn. Over the years, you have learned to pair up many cues with behaviors that promote high-fat foods and inactivity. These associations may have even turned into habits, which may result in you eating even when you are not hungry!

The first thing you need to do is to identify any cues that may be signaling you to eat high-fat or high-calorie foods or promoting sedentary behaviors or inactivity. For the next few days, keep a list of the different things that cause you to eat when you are not hungry or not being active. Be sure to think of visuals (candy dish), smells (freshly baked cookies), emotions (stress), events (weddings), holidays (4th of July), other people’s actions (food offerings from coworkers), or even habits, such as watching television after dinner, and snacking even though you are not even hungry.

Once you identify the cues that are the most troublesome for you to maintain your healthy eating and an active lifestyle, you can develop strategies to limit the influence of these negative cues on your behavior. In general, you want to remove or avoid any negative cues and add positive cues. Here are a few strategies to help you with your eating and activity levels:

- Change your environment
• Get rid of all junk food in the house or at your desk at work
• Hide cookie jars and candy dishes and replace with a fruit basket
• Put easily accessible snack foods, such as potato chips, in difficult-to-reach locations where you cannot see them
• Leave out your tennis shoes, gym bags, and exercise equipment to remind you to be active
• Leave an extra pair of tennis shoes at work

- Eat your meals at the table without a TV on, which will help limit distraction

- Add reminders to be physically active
• Hang exercise calendars on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror
• Set reminders on your phone or email

- If you’re going to a party/event:
• Bring a healthy appetizer or salad
• Plan ahead by eating and/or exercising before the party
• Chew gum to prevent snacking
• Don’t stand near the food
Remember, although you cannot control everything completely, you can focus on how you react to these cues. If one strategy does not work, try another. Do not get discouraged if you slip. No one is perfect. Every small change helps!

Fruit Dip

Fruit Dip

1 regular size jar of Marshmallow Fluff
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese

Mix together, chill and serve with cut up pieces of fruit.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Plateau Power

Here is a summary of my Weight Watchers meeting on July 13th, 2010.

Can Plateaus Help You Lose?
Article By: Melissa Sperl

We'll help you overcome your plateau and get back on the losing path.

If you've been with Weight Watchers for a while, you've probably heard Success Stories talk about their plateaus — the times in their weight-loss plan when they couldn't lose, no matter how hard they tried.

Sounds like a bummer, right? After all, you want to see results for all the hard work you're doing!

But look at it this way: Plateaus are like resting spots. When you've been going, going, going for a while, there will come a time when you have to stop, rest, and take a look at the map.

Weight loss is much different when you have a lot to lose than it is when you're working on your last 10 pounds. Doesn't it make sense that you should need to take a break and reassess your plan?

Plateau power
The next time you get to a plateau, think positively and proactively: "This means I have to try something new now. What is it?" Try different things until you find an approach that gets the scale moving down again.

You've probably heard your Leader or other meeting members talking about the kinds of things that can get you through a plateau and moving again. Things like:
• Attitude is everything. Do you need to re-motivate?
• Recheck your daily POINTS® Target.
• Look at portions with a fresh eye.
• Commit to your POINTS Tracker.
• Get moving!
• Try some zero POINTS value foods.
• Check your medications. Are they affecting your weight loss?

A plateau is a good time to get prepared for the road ahead. It's the perfect time to reassess your skills, knowledge and behaviors. At your next meeting, ask the friends around you if they've been through plateaus, and what they did to get through them.

A plateau is like a pebble. Hold it close to your eye and it fills the whole world and puts everything out of focus. Hold it at a proper viewing distance and it can be examined and classified. Throw it at your feet and it can be seen in its true setting-just one more tiny bump on the pathway to Success!

"Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain." ~Author Unknown

Basic Cornbread

Basic Cornbread
Source: Southern Living 2002 Annual Recipes

Note: You can freeze bread in a heavy zip lock bag for one month; thaw in fridge.

1/3 cup butter
2 cups self rising white cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 T. sugar
2 1/4 cups low fat buttermilk
2 large eggs

Place butter in a 10 inch cast iron skillet & heat in a 425 oven for 5 minutes or until melted.

Combine meal, flour & sugar in a large bowl; stir together buttermilk & eggs. Add to dry ingredients; stir just until moistened. Pour over melted butter in skillet. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

Servings: 8

7 pointsplus+ per serving

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Honey Crunch Soft Pretzels

Honey Crunch Soft Pretzels

1 (11 ounce) can refrigerated soft breadstick dough
1 large egg white
1/4 cup honey
2 T sugar or splenda

Preheat oven to 375. Unroll dough, separating into strips. Roll each strip into a 15-inch rope with tapered ends; twist each rope into a pretzel shape on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Combine egg white and honey in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until frothy. Brush each pretzel with egg white mixture. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 for 14 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 pretzel).
Per Serving: Cal 101 (12% from fat); Fat 1/3 g (sat 0g); PRO 2.3 g; CARB 20g; FIB 0.4g; CHOL 0 mg; IRON 1 mg; SOD 198 mg; CALC 1 mg

Variation - Garlic-Parmesan Soft Pretzel

Prepare and shape dough according to above directions, substituting 1 pressed large garlic clove for the honey in the egg white mixture and 3 T grated Parmesan cheese for the sugar topping. Coat pretzels with butter-flavored cooking spray. Baked as directed.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 pretzel)

Per Serving: CAL 80 (19% from fat); FAT 1.7g (sat 0.2g); PRO 2.8g; CARB 12.8 g; FIB 0.3g; CHOL 1 mg; IRON 1 mg; SOD 217 mg; CALC 15 mg

Friday, July 16, 2010

Big Top Watermelon Salad

Big Top Watermelon Salad
Source: Coastal Living, JUNE 2006

7 cups seeded cubed watermelon
1 cup crumbled feta
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup packed arugula
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk together olive oil and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; pour over salad, and toss well to combine.

Yield: Makes 8 servings

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna
Source: ATTY2DE

1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 can 15.oz tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 medium zucchini
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup low fat creamed cottage cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 cup(4oz) reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown beef and onion;drain fat. Add tomato sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer for 5 min.

Slice zucchini crosswize into 1/4 in slices.

Place half in a greased 12x8 pan. sprinkle with 1/2 the flour. Combine cottage cheese and egg; spoon over zucchini.Top with half the meat mixture. Repeat layer of zucchini and flour. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and remaining meat mixture.

Bake at 375 for 40 min.

Serves: 8 Points: 4

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Memorial Stones

At the beginning of each new school year, before students return to campus, there is a university-wide address for all staff and faculty. Before the address begins a slideshow is played with names and pictures of all the new employees. My name and picture were displayed in all their glory on a slideshow in August of 2008, shortly after I had started working here. I had almost forgotten about it until this morning. I received an email from my co-worker which included the picture of myself that was displayed in that slideshow.

It is reminders like this one that has helped me succeed in my weight loss efforts. I am surrounded by constant reminders of who I was before I began Weight Watchers. For me, remembering how far I have come is critical to my weight loss success. I have pictures and a pair of my old pants that help to motivate me to continue to make good choices. As I look back and see how much weight I have lost, I begin to see how much of myself I have gained back. I do not know about you, but I do not want to lose myself again.

In the book of Joshua, the Lord was very intentional to have Israel make for themselves a reminder of the His faithfulness to bring them across the Jordan river. Israel brought twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan and carried them over to the other side. Joshua told these men that, “In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:6-7)

The people of Israel had memorial stones to remind them of God’s faithfulness to bring them into the promised land. Just like the nation of Israel we should have memorial stones of our own. It does not have to be a stone, for me and my weight loss it is before pictures of myself. Whatever form your stones come in let them help to remind you of how far God has brought you in your journey with Him.

These stones were also set up to encourage the next generation. Joshua said, “when your children ask you”, he wanted parents to tell their children this story of what God had done in their lives. God wanted them to share about how He had brought them into the land that He promised them. This memorial was set up to give hope to the future nation of Israel. Our stones should be a source of hope for us as well. I know that there have been circumstances in my life that I am sure God will get me through, because I look back and see how He has brought me through other trails in the past.

What are some of your Memorial Stones? If you do not have memorial stones in your life, this might be a great time to start collecting them. You will need those stones for the journey ahead. Take some time to remember how far the Lord has brought you and thank Him for His ever present faithfulness in your life.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
Source: Adapted from TASTE OF HOME

8 oz fat-free cream cheese
2 Tbsp water
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp McCormick Ground cumin
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
5 cups cooked chicken breast, diced
21 oz Campbell's 98% Fat-Free Cream Of Chicken Soup, 2 cans
2 cups fat-free sour cream
1 cup fat-free skim milk
8 oz Pace Diced green chiles, 2 cans
1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
12 small flour tortillas

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, water, onion powder, cumin, salt and pepper until smooth. Stir in chicken.

Place 1/4 cup down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in two greased 8 x 10-in. baking dishes.

In a large bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, milk and chilies; pour over enchiladas.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until heated through.

Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Servings: 12 (1 enchilada each) Points 6

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Subscribe Now

In order to make it easier on you all I went ahead and added two new sections to my blog called, "Followers" and "Subscribe To". They are located right above the Blog Archive. Please feel free to sign up to become a Follower or Subscribe to Blog Posts and/or Comments. If you choose to Subscribe you will be notified everytime a new blog is posted.

‘Micro’ Tater Chips

Source: ATTY2DE

Thinly slice potatoes, using a mandolin or vegetable peeler.
Spray a sheet of wax paper lightly with Pam.
Lay potatoes in single layer on top of wax paper.
Season with desired seasonings; place in microwave.
Microwave on high 5-7 minutes, until chips start to brown.
Remove from microwave and cool for a few seconds.
. . . . . . . . . .


• 1/4 cup coarse salt
• 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
• 2 teaspoons dried dillweed
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1/4 cup coarse salt
• 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
• 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
• 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
• 1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves

• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• dash Pepper

• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed oregano
• 1/4 teaspoon cumin
• dash cayenne pepper

Process all ingredients for each recipe in a blender at high speed until
mixture is very fine in texture, 30 to 45 seconds.
Store in shaker and shake on hot potato chips.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Weekly Recipe Review

One of my favorite features in my blog are the recipes. I have been able to use it as a way to store new recipes that I want to try. As I have told you before I have not tried all the recipes, because I am trying to simply save the recipes I think sound good. However, I hope that will change.

My friend, Toni, has a blog called, New Veginnings and most of her posts are pictures of the recipes that she has made, along with her opinion about the dish she made and anything else on her mind. This is not the first blog of its kind that I have seen. I have even seen blogs where people post recipes that they have come up with themselves! These people have inspired me. So what I am going to do is to begin to offer feedback on the recipes on my blog. When I cook a new recipe I will post pictures of what it looks like, include my thoughts on how it turned out, and anything else that may have taken place during the cooking experience. One the days that I post recipe feedback, I will not post a new recipe.

I hope that this information will be helpful in several ways. First, I love recipe books with pictures, because you can see what the food is going to look like. This might even give you the courage to try more new recipes. Second, when I am cooking a new recipe it is nice to know what to expect and if there are any tricks I need to know about. I will try to give you ask much helpful feedback as possible. Finally, I hope that by posting reviews about the recipes I make and food I eat that people will see that while on Weight Watchers you can eat more than just salad. I hope that we will all be encouraged as we see the amazing foods that we can eat while on Weight Watchers.

I will try to post at least one recipe review blog a week. However, I would also love to hear more about experiences with these recipes, from this blog, that you have cooked. It would be so helpful, for all of us, if you left your feedback in the form of a comment under that recipe you made so that we can all learn more about the dish.

Recipe Review: Cake in a Mug

I'm so excited, because this is my first recipe that I get to give you feedback on!!

I found this recipe for Cake in a Mug on the Weight Watchers message boards. You see, it is just my husband and I, so I am always looking for single serving recipes. It takes us quite a while to eat an entire cake, if I bake one. Not to mention, a baked cake sitting on my kitchen counter tempts me like crazy. I was thrilled when I discovered this recipe! My schedule is pretty busy and at the end of the day I want to be able to make a dessert that is quick and easy. I've been eating chocolate Cake in a Mug several times a week. But, I have also had strawberry flavored Cake in a Mug which is just as good.

When you make Cake in a Mug make sure your mug is a good size, because if the mug is too small the cake will spill over when it is cooking. I spray the inside of my mug with butter flavored Pam, so that the cake does not get stuck on the mug. You also have to make sure that you stir the cake mix with the water that the mix becomes completely moist. After a minute in the microwave you have a cup full of hot cake. It's like magic! You can top your cake off with some Free Cool Whip if you like. The mug gets hot, so be careful, If you prefer, you can dump the cake out onto a plate instead of eating it out of the mug. Just make sure that you wash your mug immediately or fill it with water so that it is not impossible to clean later.

I even told my co-workers about this recipe and they love it. This past Friday we all had Cake in a Mug, it was so much fun! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Have you tried this recipe? What do you think?

. . . . . . . . . .

Cake in a Mug

1 pkg. Angel Food Cake Mix
1 Pkg. Any flavor Cake mix

Put both dry cake mixes in a plastic bag and mix together well.

Put 1/3 cup mix in a cup and add 3 tablespoons cold water. Stir well. Microwave 1 minute. = 3 points, 150 cal/0.75g fat per cupcake

Put 1/4 cup mix with 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave on high for one minute = 2 points

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Frozen Yogurt

Here is the latest email from Dr. Jacobs.

Frozen yogurt – a “Go” or a “No”?
It’s summer. It’s hot…really hot. After a long, hot day, nothing tempts the palate like a cool dish of ice cream, right? But wait, we know better – ice cream is fat and calorie-laden with close to 250 calories per half cup and 16 grams of fat (11 of which come from artery clogging saturated fat). We would have to jog for 30 minutes just to burn off the calories in that tiny half cup. So, now what?

The next best thing: frozen yogurt. It’s almost always a better choice, but as with anything, you may want to head to your local yogurt shop armed with a little more information. A half cup of the average frozen yogurt (about 3 to 4 ounces) has just 120 calories and often, low to no fat.

Be mindful of that portion size
Use the scale if they have one available because often what you end up with is a lot more than 3 ounces. I recently observed the serving sizes at one of our local yogurt shops (and there’s a new one springing up on every corner from Red Mango, to Pinkberry, to Orange Cup, to Yogurtland, and so on). The large, self-serve bowl at this shop held approximately 18 ounces of yogurt plus toppings. The calories in the yogurt alone would then be closer to 720 calories BEFORE the tasty toppings were added. I just hope they were counting that light, little dish of summer refreshment as a hearty meal instead of a snack with those numbers.

Use toppings with caution
Naturally we will always support fresh fruit as a topping choice. It really does go so well with some cold, tart frozen yogurt. Try opting for blueberries, raspberries and pineapple, which would add a minimal 20 to 40 calories worth of fiber, antioxidants and flavor.
Don’t be fooled by some of the other toppings that may seem healthy such as fruit soaked in gooey syrups and high calorie granola. A hearty sprinkle of granola could add another 150 calories and 7 grams of fat to your snack. And, if you are not careful over time, another inch around your waist.

Pork Chops with Carolina Rub

Pork Chops with Carolina Rub
Source: Cooking Light, MAY 2006

An easy rub flavors these grilled chops. Let them stand about 10 minutes before grilling, allowing the meat to absorb the flavorful spice rub.

1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 (4-ounce) center-cut pork loin chops
Cooking spray
1/4 cup barbecue sauce

Prepare grill.

Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub pork with spice mixture; let stand 10 minutes.

Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 4 minutes. Turn pork; grill 2 minutes. Brush each chop with 1 tablespoon sauce, and grill 2 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop)

Nutritional Information:
Calories 185; Fat 6.9g; Protein 24.6g; Carbohydrate 5g; Fiber 0.8g
Points+ 5

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fruits and Veggie Challenge Week 1

Here is a summary of my Weight Watchers meeting on July 6th, 2010.

This week we kicked off a new challenge 4 Weeks to 5 a Day!

Each week a new challenge will be given to help us add more fruits and veggies to our daily menus.

What are the BENEFITS of Fruits and Vegetables?

Fruits and Vegetables aid in Weight Management.
Fruits and vegetables come in every color of the rainbow, but their real beauty lies in what's inside. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases. People who eat more generous amounts of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthful diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases, and certain cancers.

To get a healthy variety, think color. Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients, like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Some examples include green spinach and grapes, orange sweet potatoes and oranges, yellow corn and bananas, purple plums and onions, red tomatoes and watermelon. Look for more variety, try something new regularly.

How can Fruits and Vegetables help you manage your weight?
Substituting fruits and vegetables for higher-calorie foods can be an important part of your weight loss strategy. Fruits and vegetables are a natural source of energy and gives your body many nutrients you need to keep going. Make them part of your healthy eating plan. There are many different ways to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Using more fruits and vegetables along with whole grains, dairy and lean meats is a safe and healthy way. The Good Healthy Guidelines are an important part of your plan for good health.

To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than your body uses.
This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to eat less food. You can create lower-calorie versions of some of your favorite dishes by substituting low-calorie fruits and vegetables in place of higher-calorie ingredients. The water and fiber in fruits and vegetables will add volume to your dishes, so you can eat the same amount of food for fewer points. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.

Here are some simple ways to cut calories and eat fruits and vegetables throughout your day that was shared in the meeting room this week:

Breakfast: This is the best way to start our day, so do not skip this meal.
Substitute lots of vegetables like spinach, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms for half of the cheese in your morning omelet. The vegetables will add volume and flavor to the dish with fewer points than cheese.

Use less cereal in your bowl to make room for bananas, peaches, or strawberries. You can still eat a full bowl, but with fewer points.

Stir low-fat or fat-free granola into a bowl of low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Top with sliced apples or berries.

Add strawberries, blueberries, or bananas to your waffles, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, or toast.

Top toasted whole-grain bread with peanut butter and sliced bananas.

Lunch/Dinner: Add vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, or onions to your sandwich, wrap, or burrito and use less cheese and meat. The veggies will fill you up for fewer points value.

Add a cup of chopped vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, zucchini, squash or red, yellow, green peppers, in place of meat or noodles in your favorite broth-based soup. The vegetables will help fill you up, so you won't miss all those extra calories.

Add in 1 cup of chopped vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, squash, onions, or peppers, while removing 1 cup of the rice or pasta in your favorite dish. The dish with the vegetables will be just as satisfying but have fewer calories than the same amount of the original version. Try adding veggies to the Weight Watcher’s Side Dishes for a very satisfying meal.

Ask for more vegetable toppings (like mushrooms, peppers, and onions) and less cheese on your pizza.

Add chopped apples, pears, or raspberries to your salad.

Add broccoli, green beans, corn, or peas to a casserole or pasta.

Try eating at least 2 vegetables with dinner.

Take a good look at your dinner plate. Vegetables and fruit, should account for half the food on your dinner plate. If they do not, replace some of the meat, pasta, or rice with more steamed broccoli, asparagus, greens, or another favorite vegetable. This will reduce the total points in your meal without reducing the amount of food you eat.

BUT remember to use a normal- or small plate — not a platter. The total number of calories that you eat counts, even if a good proportion of them come from fruits and vegetables.

Healthy Low Point Snacks:
a small apple
a small banana
1 cup steamed green beans
1 cup blueberries
1 cup grapes
1 cup carrots
1 cup broccoli
1 cup bell peppers
2 tbsp. hummus

Instead of a high-calorie snack from a vending machine, bring some cut-up vegetables or fruit. Did you know that one snack-sized bag of corn chips (1 ounce) has the same number of calories as a small apple, 1 cup of whole strawberries, AND 1 cup of carrots with 1/4 cup of low-calorie dip.

Remember: Substitution is the key.

Eat fruits and vegetables the way nature provided—or with fat-free or low-fat cooking techniques. Try steaming your vegetables, using low fat/ fat free dressings, and adding herbs and spices for more flavor.

Eat your fruit raw to enjoy its natural sweetness.

Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are good options when fresh produce is not available. However, be careful to choose those without added sugar, syrup, cream sauces, or other ingredients that will add calories.

Whole fruit gives you a bigger size snack than the same fruit dried—for the same number of calories. A small box of raisins (1/4 cup) is about 100 calories. For the same number of calories, you can eat 1 cup of grapes.

Pork Chops Yum-Yum

Pork Chops Yum-Yum

1 pound lean pork loin
1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic

Brown chops on both sides.
Place in casserole dish sprayed with PAM.
Mix all remaining ingredients and pour over pork chops.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 for one hour.

Serves 4

Friday, July 9, 2010

Awesome Smothered Pork Chops

Awesome Smothered Pork Chops

1 package pork chops with fat cut off (with or without bone)
1 package mushrooms sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 can chicken broth
1 can reduced fat/sodium cream of mushroom soup
rubbed sage

1. Sprinkle each side of chop with salt/pepper and a little rubbed sage; brown chops and set aside
2. Sauté onion with mushrooms
3. Add soups to make gravy
4. put chops back in gravy and simmer about 10-15 minutes

Note: less broth for thicker gravy more to thin it out. For larger quantity of chops can use 2 cans cream of mushroom soup and will make a lot.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Honey Bun Cake

Honey Bun Cake

1 package yellow or white cake mix
4 egg whites
1 cup (8 oz) reduced-fat sour cream
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoons fat-free milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, combine dry cake mix, egg whites, sour cream and applesauce. Beat on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour half (about 2 1/4 cups) into a 13x9x2 baking pan coated with non-stick cooking spray. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter. Cover with remaining batter; cut through with a knife to swirl. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For glaze, combine confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla. Drizzle over warm cake. Cool on a wire rack

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): Yield: 20 servings 180 Calories; 3g Fat;
1g Dietary Fiber; 4 Points

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I Don't Just Eat Salad!!

It is always interesting when people find out that I am on Weight Watchers. They respond in various ways. Most people are very encouraging of the lifestyle choice that I have made for myself. They look at my before and after picture and are amazed at how much weight I was able to lose. However, there are other people out there who do not have a clue about what my life looks like on Weight Watchers. This group of people can only relate to me based off of diets that they have subjected themselves to. My most recent interaction has been with people who try to get me to eat like they do. Let me explain.

Today, I was invited to join some of my co-workers for lunch. These ladies go to lunch on a weekly basis it is like clockwork. I usually turn them down when invited for various reasons. As expected I was invited to eat out with these ladies and I politely declined. However, after I turned them down I received a comeback that I was not expecting. One of the ladies said, “I’ll eat a salad with you”, thinking that this would make me change my mind about going to lunch. I really could not go to lunch for reasons other than the food. However, as my co-worker turned to leave her comment lingered in the air. I wanted to shout at her that, “I Don’t Just Eat Salad!” After she left, I began to wonder about what people think my life on Weight Watchers is really like. Do people really think that I can only eat salads? If you are one of those people who think this then please take a moment to shake that picture right out of your head, because it is not true. What is true is that I have chosen to make better food choices.

This is not the first occasion where I have had people say something like this. There are times in my life when satan uses these interactions to discourage me. I have a deep longing to fit in and the enemy will use that against me. I want to be “normal”. What I forget is that I became overweight while I was trying to fit in and be normal, but that was not God’s best for me. I have chosen to listen to the Lord and obey what He has asked of me, whether other people like it or not. The truth is that I do not fit in with everyone and I do not want to. I do not choose to eat what everyone else eats, because it is an area of temptation for me and I do not want to fall back into my old ways.

Do not be discouraged, the enemy attacks when we make choices that please and glorify the Lord! Continue to make good choices and stand up to those who would lead you astray. For more information about this please check out the Weight Watchers Meeting Summary that talks about your friends and family sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

Crockpot Cran-Apple Chicken

Crockpot Cran-Apple Chicken
Source: hmahoney

6 chicken breasts halves -- boneless, skinless
1 cup cranberries -- fresh or frozen
1 green apple -- peeled, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened apple juice or cider

Place chicken in slow cooker. Sprinkle with cranberries & apples. Mix brown sugar & apple juice. Pour over chicken & fruit. Cover. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Serving Size : 6

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Diet Coke Chicken

Diet Coke Chicken

4-5 skinless boneless chicken breasts (20oz)
1 Cup Ketchup
1 – 12 oz. Can of Diet Cola

Put chicken in a non-stick skillet. Pour ketchup and diet cola over the chicken.
Turn heat to Medium high and cook chicken for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook another 15-20 minutes. Remove lid, and cook until sauce thickens and sticks to chicken.

Sauce will taste like BBQ and the chicken is very tender.

Note: You can also make shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches with this. Simply use 2 forks and pull the chicken apart about 15 minutes before it's finished cooking. You could also to add some black pepper and diced onions to the cola chicken right when you start to cook it.

add a packet of dry onion soup mix to it.
Add mushrooms, onion, peppers, etc.
Orange soda and some ginger and garlic. Turned into an oriental flavored dish
Diet Dr Pepper instead of diet cola
Barbeque sauce rather than ketchup.
Pork Chops instead of chicken
Sausage instead of chicken
Diet coke with lime (instead of plain diet coke) and salsa (instead of ketchup) – same measurements

Serves: 5
Per Serving: 184 Calories; 3g Fat (15.2% calories from fat); 26g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 69mg Cholesterol; 640mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wise TV Watching

Here is the latest email from Dr. Jacobs.

Manage the Munchies with This TV Trick
By RealAge

You might be able to switch off food cravings just by pressing this button: "Mute."
Yep, just press the mute button on your remote control anytime a commercial comes on. Studies suggest that TV shows loaded with food advertisements could be a recipe for gaining weight.

TV's Weighty Influence
In a new study of kids, researchers checked the TV-watching habits and weight of 0- to 12-year-olds in 1997 and then again 5 years later. It turned out that the more TV commercials the kids saw, the heavier they tended to be. Even if the kids watched lots of television, their weight tended to be healthier if their shows were light on commercials (a la public television programming). Scary stuff. And other research has shown that adults eat larger quantities of snack foods after watching food ads on TV.

Danger Signals
Researchers suspect that pictures of gooey pizza, fizzy sodas, glistening burgers, and buttery cookies prime the brain for thoughtless eating, bypassing your ability to make smart food decisions. If muting the sound isn't enough to keep your mind off waist-widening munchies, turning the TV off might be a better plan. Or consider recording your shows and fast-forwarding through the ads.

Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Peanuts

Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Peanuts
Source: ABEILLE1

Coarse salt
1/2 pound whole-wheat fusilli
2 heads (2 pounds) broccoli
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced crosswise (1 cup)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Drain, and rinse under cold water; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, trim 1 inch from the stem end of broccoli stalks. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, peel outer layer of stalks; thinly slice crosswise. Separate florets into bite-size pieces.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium.Add pepper flakes, broccoli, and 3/4 cup water; cover and cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid has evaporated and broccoli is tender, 2 to 4 minutes.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, peanut butter, and soy sauce until smooth. Add cooled pasta, broccoli, scallions, and peanuts; toss to combine. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Serves 4 or 8; Points 12 or 5

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Venetian Apricot Chicken

Venetian Apricot Chicken
Source: Olive Garden

Apricot Sauce:
1/2 cup chicken stock (broth)
1/2 cup apricot preserves
Salt and pepper to taste

Tomato Mixture:
1/2 lb roma tomatoes, cut into 1” pieces
6 basil leaves, cut into 1/2” pieces
1 tsp garlic pepper
Salt to taste

Garlic Herb Seasoning:
3 tsp garlic pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 bunch asparagus (remove bottom inch of stems)
1/2 lb broccoli florets
1Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Chopped parsley to garnish

COMBINE Garlic Herb Seasoning ingredients in a small mixing bowl and set aside.

BLEND chicken stock and apricot preserves in a sauce pan. Add salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

COMBINE tomatoes, basil, garlic pepper and salt in a separate mixing bowl and set aside.

BLANCH asparagus and broccoli for 1 minute in a pot of salted boiling water. Transfer immediately to ice bath to stop cooking.

COAT sauté pan with 1Tbsp olive oil. While keeping ingredients separated in pan, heat cooled asparagus, broccoli and tomato mixture and until hot. Do not overcook.

GRILL chicken until internal temperature reaches 165°F.

PLACE grilled chicken on a platter next to hot broccoli and asparagus. Sprinkle Garlic Herb Seasoning on broccoli. Pour tomato mixture on top of vegetables.

TOP chicken breasts with apricot sauce and garnish with chopped parsley.

NI from the site:
380/4/8 - Dinner portion; 280/3/8- Lunch portion

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Orzo with Chicken and Asiago

Orzo with Chicken and Asiago
Source: SALLY327

1 cup water
1 (16-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
12 ounces skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, basil, or oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Combine water and broth in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Add chicken and pasta; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in peas, 1/4 cup cheese, salt, herbs, and pepper. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups) Yields: 4, 1 ¼ c. servings

NUTRITION PER SERVING: CALORIES 384(14% from fat); FAT 5.9g(sat 2.9g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 34.3g; CHOLESTEROL 64mg; CALCIUM 179mg; SODIUM 656mg; FIBER 2.9g; IRON 3.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45.7g

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pack Your Plan for Vacation

Here is a summary of my Weight Watchers meeting on June 29, 2010.

For months you've been saving up for that much-needed vacation. You've brought bagged lunches to work, passed on that tempting new pair of heels, and cut down on pricey restaurant meals with friends – all in the name of a little rest and relaxation. And what better time to indulge yourself than when you're on vacation, right? After all, you've earned it. The trouble is, you've been so good about sticking to your diet, and you've finally lost that extra weight you put on during the winter. The last thing you want is to return from your blissful vacation and discover that you've put the pounds back on.

According to travel studies the average person can gain up to 8 lbs per week on vacation!! Are you okay with that? Remember: There's more to vacationing than food. In order to still lose weight while on vacation there are a few things that you should do to prepare yourself.

1. You need to decide if you want to lose or if you are going to be ok with an 8lb gain….If you want to lose please read on…

2. Packing your plan is what needs to happen next. Think of all the things that you should pack that you use now on a regular basis to stay on plan. Make sure that these things make it in to your suitcase:
• tracker/journal
• pts calculator/ pocket guide
• complete food companion/ dining out companion
• exercise clothes and shoes…if you don’t pack them you are less likely to do activity
• pedometer
• positive attitude-remind yourself of all you have accomplished! Relish in that smaller dress size!
• portable snacks- Obviously bananas bruise but apples, oranges, grapes, baby carrots, mini bars, fiber one bars, popcorn, and oatmeal all travel quite nicely.
• water bottle- it is always a good idea to keep a water bottle with you at all times..sometimes when we think we are hungry we are really just thirsty. Plus you can keep refilling the same bottle versus paying 2.50 for a fresh bottle each time!

3. Remember what your goals are…It is not easy to lose 8 lbs but it is amazing how quickly we can gain it back! Have you worked hard all this time just to gain it back on vacation? NO WAY!
*Pack a note in your suitcase to remind yourself that you can lose while on vacation. Set an alert on your calendar on your phone for halfway through the week asking you if you have stayed on plan.

4. Go to the meeting finder on See if there is a local meeting that you could attend to see how you are doing weight wise and to give you that extra boost in motivation.

5. You will be tempted by foods that you normally do not eat so it is ok to indulge a little. If you find yourself indulging a lot remember that you do have your 35 weekly points and any activity points you may have earned along the way. The more cheesecake you eat….the more activity you should partake in. Most hotels now a days have some type of fitness center. Check around town for parks or local hiking trails.

6. Limit sugary or creamy drinks. Part of kicking back on vacation is having a few libations, but an eight-ounce Pina Colada can have as much as 450 calories and 18 grams of fat. Drink in moderation, and opt for things like light beer, which has only about 100 calories, or liquor blended with non-sugar mixers such as soda water, instead of tonic. Remember to follow each drink with plenty of water.

7. Be confident you can have a wonderful trip and lose weight too!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Margarita Chips

Margarita Chips
Source: Coastal Living, MARCH 2001

1 1/2 teaspoons fine-grained sea salt
2 teaspoons lime zest, chopped
Vegetable oil
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, each cut into 6 wedges

Combine salt and lime zest.
Pour oil to depth of 2 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 350°. Fry tortilla wedges in small batches in hot oil about 30 seconds or until golden. Drain on paper towels; sprinkle with lime salt.

Note: Homemade lime salt tastes fresher than packaged lime salt.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Easy Sausage Cheese Balls

Easy Sausage Cheese Balls
Source: All Recipes

1 pound turkey sausage
4 cups Shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups baking mix

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2.In a medium bowl, combine the sausage, cheese, and dry baking mix. Mix together, and shape mixture into walnut-sized balls. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

3.Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves: 3 dozen

NI: Cal 137, Fat 9.4, Points 2


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