Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Encouraging Others to Exercise


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

The Sedentary Lifestyle
Posted on August 1, 2011
Article Author: Kati Trammel

Some people have an inner desire to go for a run or a walk, ride a bike, or just get outside and play, while others prefer to stay inside and read a book, watch TV, cook, or eat a delicious meal.

You can help someone learn to, well, tolerate exercise.

Although neither person is better than the other, there is one lifestyle that is clearly a healthier choice.

So what can be done for those who lead a sedentary lifestyle that may be creating unhealthy circumstances?

Here are five tips to help get them up and moving:
1. They will not like your routine.
I learned several years ago as a personal trainer that not everyone enjoys feeling sore the next day. One client who was inactive appeared quite fit. She asked for a rigorous leg-training routine for the first session. I gave her exactly what she asked for, and she never returned. Her friend later informed me she was so sore from the routine she was not willing to go through it again!

2. Remember that they hate exercise.
Asking someone who clearly hates to exercise to run on a treadmill for 30 minutes is futile. Remember, exercising is more effective when the brain is fully engaged and the body feels exhilarated. Without stimulating the muscles to work, exercise is not as effective. Find something enjoyable that encourages movement. Window-shopping or mall-walking is not a good idea because there are so many temptations to stop walking (eating, shopping, etc.). Try going to a zoo and chart each animal you will see or to a botanical garden and plan the path to walk. Visual stimulation is helpful to keep one's motivation up to finish the walk.

3. Allow them to motivate you.
Give a less-active person the opportunity to see you struggle a little by getting out of your own comfort zone and allowing him or her to help you through an exercise. One other client only wanted to walk/jog rather than lift weights. Lifting weights for her was torture, but she enjoyed being outside. Further, when I run, I turn my iPod on and go. However, this client wanted to talk about diet, children, work, etc. This made the exercise difficult for me because I wanted to take off and listen to my music. She convinced me to enjoy the conversation and actually take time to talk about the stress and joy in my life-something my body probably needed more than another stressful competition to see how fast I could go!

Don't be a scary fitness coach.

4. Teach patience.
Remember that sedentary people generally become discouraged if they do not see immediate results. This is why infomercials are so effective. It is amazing how many people still buy weight-loss gimmicks like vibrating belts that supposedly will produce rock-hard abs or a 5-minute ab routine that helps them lose 6 inches in 3 weeks. Teach patience through small achievements. Oftentimes you can teach people to trade off what they love for short bursts of exercise. "OK, if you want to read that book, why not download it and listen to it while you walk?"

5. Accept where they are in the process.
Sedentary people are typically sporadic in their exercise routines. Accept that they need to build up a habit and that the process is entirely up to them. No one can change a lifestyle by imposing change. While encouragement helps, the choice is ultimately up to the individual to build on an exercise routine or limit it to strictly walking three times a week. Running or weight-lifting may not be in the future, but the key is to be healthier-not competitive.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guest Post: Toni's Meatless Journey


Do you remember how we talked last week about going meatless? If not, click here.

I asked my friend, Toni to guest post for my blog today. Toni is a vegetarian and she also has an extremely genuine love for the Lord. Today she has been kind enough to share with us her story about how God lead her to become a vegetarian.

I was so encouraged by what Toni wrote in this blog post. You can see that God is working in her life and it is exciting! Please take the time to read Toni's story below.
. . . . . . . . . .

First of all, I want to thank Jen for allowing me to guest post on her fantastic blog. Jen has been a fabulous friend of mine for many years and, through her blog, I have learned so much about the Lord and been encouraged time and time again. This is an honor and a privilege so thank you Jen!

She asked me to tell my story of why I decided to take on a vegetarian diet and it should come as no surprise to the readers of this blog that it was the Lord's choice for me for a number of reasons. I was unemployed for the first 7 months that my husband and I were married. We did, and still do, a monthly budget to keep track of where our money is going and I was consistently looking for places to cut back. Food was the easiest place to make those cuts. Meat is expensive. Vegetables, fruits, and grains when bought in bulk are less expensive. What then began as a search for meatless meals turned into a fascination of health and wellness and nutrition which has stayed with me over two years later. I found myself devouring podcasts and books and articles on the subject of food and its healing properties in our body. It started as a way to cut corners and do much with the little we had to honor the Lord and it turned into much more.

That was where it started and on May 1, 2011 I decided to begin calling myself a vegetarian. i had spent the past few years learning and had decided that, as a birthday present to myself, I would switch to that diet because it is the right choice for me. I do not think eating meat is a sin as we read on Genesis 9:3 that everything from the green plants to the animals of land and sea are permissible to eat. In reading that, though, I was struck with the idea that prior to the flood it seemed that all we ate were the "green plants." We were originally placed in a garden and that is where I have chosen to reside in my diet. If man had survived on that food form the beginning of time to the end of the flood then perhaps I could still survive on it today thousands of years later. Again, I am not condemning meat or its consumption--I have merely found peace in this decision. I have spent my time debating and discussing with others about the theological reasons for my dietary switch but, at the end of the day, this is a choice between myself and the Lord and it is where I find peace.

Have I eaten meat since May 1? Yes. And the Lord has revealed so much about myself and my insecurities through those acts. I am a struggling perfectionist and legalist. If I don't do something 100% then I feel like a failure. So if I eat meat then I am no longer the perfect vegetarian I desire to be and am a failure in that area. If I am a failure on one area of my life then I am a failure in all aspects of my life. Sadly this is one of my struggles. It was at Bible study this past Friday when I was told "Stop hating yourself. God doesn't. Stop thinking you're an awful bad person. God doesn't." What sweet words to this perfectionist soul! God doesn't think any less of me if I mess up. He loves me and thinks highly of me.

In my life, God uses my own decision to be a vegetarian to teach me his love and grace and forgiveness. If I sin in one area of my life, I know that it means I need to ask Him to work on that area in my life. It does not mean I am a wretched doomed sinner. It means there are areas of which I need Him more than I realized. If I eat meat it does not make me any less of a vegetarian in the same way that sinning does not make me any less loved by God. It teaches me to forgive myself the same way the Father forgives me. There is power in His grace. There is knowledge in His love. There is hope at the Son's feet where He cleanses us. Aside from the wealth of health benefits and fun recipes, choosing to be a vegetarian is a key tool that the Lord uses to teach me about Him and His ways and His desires for my life.

I hope you have been encouraged by what the Lord has done in my life. If you have any questions about vegetarian cooking tips, recipes, or vegetarian health please don't hesitate to email me at May you find your own peace and grace and strength at the feet of Jesus as I have.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Get Unstuck


Here is the meeting summary for August 27, 2011.

Ask yourself a question: Are you STUCK? Are you COASTING? Are you MOVING AHEAD? If you are stuck or coasting, that’s okay, because did you know that plateaus can help you lose?

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 less, or even 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.

And think about it this way: If you spend a little time at a new, lower weight, your perception of what your "high weight" is might shift. If you ever find a pound or two creeping back on, you'll catch it more quickly if you're closer to your "new" high weight than your original one.

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 PointsPlus® Target.
- Try some zero PointsPlus value foods.
- Check your medications. Are they affecting your weight loss?
- Start TRACKING again.
- Watch your PORTIONS.
- Buy a SCALE or Measuring Spoons.
- Look at how many ZERO PointsPlus Foods they are consuming daily.
- Start being ACTIVE.
- Switch up work outs to avoid boredom.
- Vary menus. Buy a Cookbook!
- Work on Good Health Guidelines.
- Try Simply Filling Plan.
- Use Motivating Strategy to work toward goal.
- Set a new goal to achieve.
- Story Board your way to success.
- Reward yourself for achievements.
- READ Getting Started Book again and Pocket Guide.
- Use e-Tools & Community Boards.
- Find an accountability partner.
- Ask for help from others.
- PLAN ahead by using the Kickstart Guide.
- Stay for meetings every week.
- Attend an extra meeting for added support.
- Read SUCCESS Stories in WW Magazine...have Sept/ Oct Issue available to show members! It’s awesome!

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.

So, this week I challenge you to change one thing. That one change might be what you need to help get yourself unstuck and moving again.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Things I Like Right Now

Happy Friday!
It's been quite a week in our home. My hubby has been sick all week. On top of that we have been busy with work and church. I feel like I have not had time to catch my breathe in days, because we have just been going, going, going.

It started out as a hard Weight Watchers week too, but I have been able to get right back on track. I am curious to see what happens when I weigh in tomorrow morning. So, because it is Friday, I thought I would share with you some things I like right now!

I am so glad that I found pinterest! This website is truly unique, because there is something for everyone!! I hate to admit it, but I could spend hours on this site, just looking for ideas, recipes, clothes, and more!

Here is East Texas we were going on more than 100 days without rain. Yikes! For a Pacific Northwest girl like myself this is almost unbearable! I miss the rain so much! We have been praying for rain, because so many people in the state of Texas desperately need it. Our prayers were answered on Wednesday of this week, when we finally got about 40 minutes of rain. I ran to the door and just held it open so that I could take in the thunder storm. Rain smells so good! The cool weather did not stay very long and it is now back up to over 100 degrees again, but the rain on Wednesday was such a special treat!

I like good quotes, especially the ones that make you think!! I just thought this was great and I wanted to share it with you.

Those are just a few things I like right now!! I hope that you have a great weekend!!

I posted a Flashback Friday blog post over at my other blog. If you are interested please click here to check it out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meatless Meal Options


I would love to hear your feedback about yesterday's blog post. Was the meatless concept new to you? Have you ever gone meatless? What are some of your favorite meatless recipes?

Up until a week ago, I never thought that I would go meatless, because I had stereotyped those who go meatless. I thought that people who go meatless ate a lot of tofu. To my surprise I know a vegetarian who does not like tofu at all! You might be like I was, but please do not continue on with such negative attitude toward those who go meatless. Maybe you just have not found a way to go meatless that works for you and your lifestyle.

After I shared with you the meeting summary about going meatless, I thought that you might need some good ideas about how to go meatless! Here are some breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas to help you get started.

Hearty Oatmeal
Mix ¾ cup hot cooked oatmeal with 1 diced small apple and 1 Tbsp chopped pecans. PointsPlus values: 4

Tomato and Egg Scramble

Scramble 1 large egg in 1 tsp olive oil with ½ cup grape tomatoes and 2 tsp finely chopped fresh herbs. PointsPlus values: 3. Toast ½ whole-grain English muffin; serve with 1 tsp jam. PointsPlus values: 2

Creamy Berry Parfait
Alternately layer ¾ cup each plain low-fat Greek yogurt and fresh blueberries and 2 Tbsp crushed bran flakes in a parfait glass. PointsPlus values: 4

Italian Pita
Stuff 1 small pita with ½ cup drained and rinsed canned white beans, chopped plum tomatoes, 2 Tbsp red-wine or balsamic vinegar, and 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil. PointsPlus values: 6

Soup and Spud
1 cup vegetable-lentil soup sprinkled with 10 slivered almonds. PointsPlus values: 4. 1 small baked sweet potato topped with chopped scallions. PointsPlus values: 2

Flatbread Salad
Toss ½ cup baby spinach, ¼ cup shredded carrot, and 1 tsp each feta, sunflower seeds, and low-fat vinaigrette together. Spread 1 (2-oz) piece toasted whole-grain flatbread with ½ cup fat-free pineapple cottage cheese and top with salad. PointsPlus values: 3

Veggie Burrito
Sauté ½ cup each peppers, onions, and spinach plus 1 minced scallion in 1 tsp olive oil. Toss with 1 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella and 3 Tbsp fat-free salsa. Stuff into 1 medium whole-grain tortilla. PointsPlus values: 8

Meze Platter
Cut ½ large whole-wheat pita into triangles, spray with olive-oil cooking spray and toast. Serve with 2 Tbsp each store-bought hummus and baba ghanoush. PointsPlus values: 5. Drizzle 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved, and ½ cup diced cucumber with 1 tsp olive oil. PointsPlus values: 1

Hoisin Tofu Stir-Fry
Stir-fry 3 oz low-fat tofu, diced, in 1 tsp vegetable oil for 3 minutes. Add ½ cup each sliced mushrooms and grated carrots; stir-fry 3 minutes. Stir in 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce and then toss with ½ cup cooked quinoa. PointsPlus values: 7

Snacks and Meal add-ons
* 1 container nonfat plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey PointsPlus values: 2
* Banana smoothie (blend ¾ cup fat-free milk, ¼ cup fat-free yogurt, ½ banana) PointsPlus values: 3
* 1 pear, halved; spread with a wedge of Camembert cheese PointsPlus values: 3
* 2 stalks celery spread with 1 Tbsp peanut butter PointsPlus values: 3
* 5 whole-grain crackers with 1 Tbsp hummus PointsPlus values: 3
* 3 cup air-popped popcorn PointsPlus values: 2
* 1 cup sliced pineapple PointsPlus values: 0
* 1 large apple PointsPlus values: 0
* 1 cup sliced red bell peppers PointsPlus values: 0
* 1 small orange PointsPlus values: 0

I do not know about you, but some of these ideas sound really good!! I think I will try going meatless at least once this week. I think going meatless is a great way to shake up my normal routine and force me to try new things.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Go Meatless


I was really nervous to lead this past week's Weight Watchers meeting after I had learned that the topic was "going meatless". I am a carnivore with meat at almost every meal that I make and serve in my home. Mentally it is hard for me to see a meatless meal a satisfying main course. I would love to serve some of these dishes as sides, but I would not serve them by themselves.

As I planned and lead my meeting, I actually began to get really excited about all of the different meatless options that are out there! Not to mention meat is very expensive and going meatless a few times a week could save us some money in the long run.

If you are like me and you like your meat, please keep an open mind as you read the meeting summary from August 20, 2011.

You must know that getting your veggies is a must for good health, but consider this: Upping your produce intake may get you a little closer to your weight loss goals too.

Studies suggest that replacing animal fats with veggies (as well as healthy proteins like beans and nuts) may help you shed more pounds by reducing your calorie intake. Sure, veggies pack feel-full fiber, but those who rely on a veggie-rich diet tend to eat less fat and fewer calories than their carnivorous counterparts. In fact, studies suggest the estimated 5 million Americans who eat plant-based diets weigh around 15 percent less than meat eaters.

How should I get my protein?
Going veg doesn’t have to mean losing out on filling protein — non-meat proteins have plenty. Plus, they tend to be cheaper, lower in calories, and higher in feel-full fiber. Below are some options to help you meet the recommended daily allowance of protein (46g a day for women; 56g for men).

Dairy With more than 8g of protein in every cup, skim milk is a great pick; in fact, it has slightly more protein than whole milk. Low-fat and nonfat cheeses are also protein-rich, with between 4g to 6g per ounce. When it comes to yogurt, go Greek since it contains nearly twice the protein of nonfat plain (2.5g per ounce versus 1.5g).

Beans Some of the most concentrated sources of proteins come from beans. Soybeans have an impressive 29g per cup, while others (lentils, black, garbanzos, etc.) pack 14g to 17g per cup. To use, toss them into salads or soups or blend them into dips.

Nuts Although nuts average between 4g and 6g of protein per ounce, dieters beware: It’s often tough to stop at just one serving, and nuts tend to be high in calories. To stay in check, eat nuts you have to shell—like pistachios, since shelling 40 (3 PointsPlus™ values' worth) takes time and may force you to eat more mindfully.

Whole grains Yes, you can get some protein in the form of a carb. Just make sure the label says “100 percent whole grain” — “whole wheat” or “wheat” alone won’t cut it. Other nutritious protein-rich grains include the couscous cousin quinoa, which at 24g per cup has as much protein as four eggs.

Eggs Many vegetarians do eat eggs, which pack 6g of protein and just 5g of fat. Also, there’s good news on the cholesterol front: Recent studies show that eating an egg a day may not increase the risk of heart disease and stroke among healthy adults, as previously thought. So allow yourself one egg a day. If that doesn’t satisfy you, supplement it with extra egg whites, which are lower in fat and cholesterol than the yolks.

Tofu Soy is a protein powerhouse, with 8g per 3.5-oz. serving of tofu. Although there’s been controversy about the use of soy, particularly for breast cancer survivors or those at risk for breast cancer, the new thinking indicates that eating a small amount (about a ½ cup of tofu or edamame) daily may actually lower your breast cancer risk. Not crazy about tofu’s spongy texture? Try tempeh, which offers a similar protein punch with a meatier consistency.

Meatless meals
Ready to boost your fruit and veggie intake without sacrificing taste or nutrients? Check out our suggestions below for three days of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

If you want some other great vegetarian recipes check out Meatless Monday.

Friday, August 19, 2011



Happy Friday!!

How was your week!? I have been so busy with work this week that I have not been able to focus on anything else! Hopefully, things at work will die down soon so that I feel like a real person again.

During my Weight Watchers meetings and Getting Started Sessions I get a lot of questions about the zero PointsPlus value on all fresh fruit. I thought that you might have some of the same questions so; here is the most recent information from Weight Watchers on fruit.

When do I have to count my fruit? What if I juice it? Blend it? Mash it? Bake it? Shake it?

If you put a banana in a blender, you still have a banana. But what a minute ago looked like a substantive snack, now looks like a tiny shot. So you might be tempted to add another banana and maybe even some raspberries, a few grapes, that leftover papaya from two days ago and a kiwi, just to fill your glass.

Juices bypass the body's hunger detectors. Smoothies seem to sit someplace in the middle—more filling than a juice, but easier to consume than plain fruit. If you sat down and drank the smoothie we just described, you've just slurped back 5 or 6 servings of fruit in one sitting.

Should you count it as zero? Its your choice—how exact do you want to be?. You can count it as zero using the Simple Recipe Math described on page 42 of the Getting Started Book (GSB). But if you are drinking a lot of smoothies and you aren't seeing the results you were expecting at the scale, we recommend you put those fruits into the Recipe Builder on eTools and start counting and tracking the PointsPlus values.

When you juice any fruits (ie removing the pulp and feeding through a juicer) no matter if you do it at home, in the car or on the beach, you no longer have fruit; you have juice and you must count the PointsPlus values. Same is true if you dehydrate the fruits, because you have removed the fiber/water that made fruit such a nice low-energy density treat.

What if you bake the fruit? Boil it? Microwave it? As long as you don't add any ingredients with PointsPlus values, you still have a zero PointsPlus treat. Count it as zero.

As with everything on this program, LET YOUR WEIGHT LOSS BE YOUR GUIDE. (Think of Obi Wan Kenobi "Use the Force Luke")

I hope this helped! Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Recipe Review: Gooey Pork Chops

I just want to start by saying that I have been so blessed with the most incredible husband!! Earlier this week Jon offered to make dinner for us. He was going to get home before me, which rarely happens, and he wanted to help out. How sweet!!

I emailed Jon several recipes options for him to choose from based on what we had at home. I also told him that I was planning to do a recipe review on Gooey Pork Chops, so if he choose that recipe I really needed him to take pictures as he made the recipe. I was so excited that he chose Gooey Pork Chops!!

To be completely honest, my husband is the chef in our family. I am good at following a recipe, however my husband has a knack for knowing what will taste good. He is not afraid to change the recipe in order to add flavor. He helps me to make Weight Watchers friendly foods taste good and still keeps the pointsplus values low.


Combine garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper together. Use as rub to one side of each chop. Jon felt like 1 tsp was not enough flavor so he added 1 TBSP of each spice.

Place chops in baking dish (may be a tight fit). Coat chops with worcestershire sauce.

Cover chops with Cream of Mushroom soup.

Sprinkle Dry onion soup mix over dish.

Cover with another piece of heavy duty foil, rolling edges of both pieces of foil together to seal chops totally.

After an hour in the oven they are finally done!!

We ate our pork chops with rice and green beans. They were incredible!! We are going to start having this dish more often.

Thanks honey for making sure I had a great recipe review for the week!!

. . . . . . . . . .
Gooey Pork Chops

6 trimmed Bone-In Pork Chops (can substitute boneless)
1 tsp Ground black pepper
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Onion powder
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 10 oz. cans Campbell's Healthy Request Cream Mushroom Soup
1 packet Lipton dry onion soup mix

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.Line 9x13 baking dish with heavy duty foil leaving 3 inches overhang on each end of dish.

Combine garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper together. Use as rub to one side of each chop.

Place chops in baking dish (may be a tight fit).

Coat chops with Worcestershire sauce.

Cover chops with Cream of Mushroom soup.

Sprinkle Dry onion soup mix over dish.

Cover with another piece of heavy duty foil, rolling edges of both pieces of foil together to seal chops totally.

Serves: 6; 5 pointsplus+

*** Notes:
May substitute boneless chops. I use trimmed chops and retrim at home. May also substitute chops with Pot Roast or Chicken.

Depending on how thick you want the gravy, may want to use 2 cans of soup (I do).

May place foil packet in crockpot rather than oven and adjust cook time to 8 hours on low. ***

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Plate Full of Good Health


Here is the meeting summary from August 12, 2011.

This week in the meeting room we talked about what a healthy day really looks like by using Weight Watchers Good Health Guidelines and the USDA's MyPlate icon. It's easier than you think!

When you were a kid, your mother probably made sure that you ate three balanced meals a day. Meat, veggies, fruit — the works. But as soon as you moved out of the house, you gained a lot more than your independence. You gained the right to eat whatever you wanted.

You may have wanted to continue eating good-for-you foods. But in this fast-paced, fast-food world, where preparing a healthy meal might occasionally lose out to a quick bite, eating right can be downright hard. Fortunately, there are some great cheats out there. New dietary guidelines from the USDA, along with the Weight Watchers Good Health Guidelines, can take the guesswork out of getting a healthy, balanced diet.

The USDA's "MyPlate" icon
In June, the US Department of Agriculture replaced the food pyramid icon with the MyPlate icon. The new image (you can see it below, linking to an article with more details) is a simple prompt to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies; something that many Weight Watchers members were already doing! The icon also prompts people to eat whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy in reasonable portions. Sound familiar?

The Good Health Guidelines
By now, you're probably familiar with the Good Health Guidelines. These explain that a balanced diet consists of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients – the same qualities of food that can help you lose weight. The most nutritious foods are lower in fat and carbohydrates, and higher in fiber and protein, and should keep you satisfied longer. Read on to better understand the basics of eating right:

Fruit can be a delicious and filling replacement for sugary desserts. Plus, it's loaded with vitamins and, as long as it's fresh fruit, has 0 PointsPlus® values.

Vegetables can be enjoyed cooked or raw, just make sure to eat your five servings of fruit and vegetables each day to get the nutrients you need.

Whole-grain foods are a great source of fiber. Choose them over processed foods whenever possible.

Dairy products can help keep your bones strong by offering you a very necessary nutrient: calcium. Try to have two (low-fat or fat-free) servings each day.

Healthy oils, like olive, canola, sunflower, safflower or flaxseed, provide your body with essential fatty acids and Vitamin E.

Protein like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dried beans and soy products can really provide the staying power you need to feel satisfied longer. Go for at least one or two servings each day.

Limit added sugar and alcohol. Feel free to enjoy the occasional sweet treat or alcoholic drink, just don't overdo it. Too much can lead to excess calories – and excess calories can really add up!

Water is essential to maintain a healthy body. Aim to drink at least six glasses a day to stay hydrated.

Multiple vitamin-mineral supplements can provide any nutrients that are missing from your diet. Look for a supplement that provides no more than 100% of the Daily Value (%DV), Recommended Nutrient Intake (RDI), or Dietary Reference Intake (DRI).

Monday, August 15, 2011

Getting Ready for Labor Day


It has been a crazy day!

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

For most people, Labor Day signals the ending of the summer season. This includes the grill or the barbecue pit. Traditional barbecue and picnic foods are a labor of love and many find the selections delicious. In many cases, the foods most associated with summer eating range is caloric value, and even though a grilled chicken and corn on the cob may be on the menu, so are many high fat, high sugar selections. Many people are surprised to find out basic picnic food can present a large number of hidden calories. A single portion of macaroni salad may have up to 50 g of fat and a single serving of barbecued ribs (2 ribs) equals 320 calories, 16 g sugar and 20 g of fat. The addition of other foods to round out an ideal barbecue will contribute to a high calorie event.

Food Item| Single serving reference values
Hamburger| 10 g fat, 254 calories, 378 mg sodium
Cheeseburger w/condiments| 26 g fat, 482 calories, 640 mg
Hot dogs| 16 g fat, 180 calories, 620 mg sodium
Ribs| 21 g fat, 320 calories, 790 mg sodium
Coleslaw| 16 g fat, 206 calories
Potato salad| 21 g fat, 1323 mg sodium
Macaroni salad| 26g fat, 760 g sodium, 349 calories
Barbecue sauce| 10 g sugar, 50 calories, 330 mg sodium
Baked beans| 19 g sugar, 570 g sodium, 190 calories
Apple pie| 20 g fat, 33 g sugar, 390 calories
Pecan pie| 22 g fat, 30 g sugar 541 calories
Corn bread| 6 g, 13 g, 200 calories
Soda| 30-40 g sugar, 12 calories per ounce
Domestic Beer| 200 calories each

Consider a basic meal of a cheeseburger, side of potato salad and baked beans and a slice of apple pie and a conservative net would equal 1,312 calories, over 3000 mg of salt and 67 g of fat. If you side with two hot dogs (who eats one?), a side of macaroni salad, some chips and slice of pecan pie you’ve reached 1,450 calories and 2,650 mg of sodium. Consider these numbers as conservative; most people each multiple servings and also consume additional calories from sodas, alcohols and other side dishes.

It is not surprising to see a single picnic meal reach over two thousand calories. So what is a person to do – skip barbecues? Rather than go extreme, make a couple of conservative changes and the day and waist line can be saved. For instance, using Fat-free hot dogs at 50 calories, 0 g fat, 490 mg sodium cuts the calories to a third and reduces the sodium. Swapping out hamburgers for chicken, soy burgers or buying extra lean meats will save calories and reduce saturated fat. Using a spice mixture like “Suddenly Pasta” and some olive oil cuts the fat and calories in half on the pasta salad. Condiments hide a lot of calories, fat and sugar. Use reduced calorie mayonnaise and low sugar barbecue sauce instead. Slice avocado for hamburgers or grill onions as healthier toppings. For beverages, brew up unsweetened ice tea and offer calorie free options like Crystal Light. Rather than serving calorie-rich desserts serve fruits like watermelon and cut strawberries; even topping it with lite Cool Whip only adds 25 calories.

In addition to making some smart food choices, be sure to center your Labor Day and other picnics around activities. Touch football, playing catch or horse shoes or Bacchi all expend calories and remove people from the temptation of boredom and proximity eating. Lastly, do not forget about sunscreen. Be sure the SPF is adequate for the environment; even though many people have been cooped up for months and the temptation for a quick tan beckons, excess sun exposure raises risks for skin cancer.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Recipe Review: Dusty Grapes

Have I mentioned that it is really hot here in Texas? Well it is. This past Sunday evening I attended Bible study. Our leader brought frozen grapes for us to share. However, they were not just regular frozen grapes! They had strawberry banana sugar-free jell-o powder sprinkled all over them. They were so good!

This week I hunted down a recipe and made these for our recipe review, because I thought that we could all use a nice cold treat. I did not follow this exact recipe, because I improvised a little. Enjoy!

Ingredients. Feel free to use any kind of Jell-O you want!

First I took the grapes off of the vine. Please note that I started with fresh, not frozen grapes.

Next, I washed the grapes and drained them really well.

Then I put the washed grapes into a large Ziploc bag.

Next, I added the dry Jell-O powder to the Ziploc bag.

I tried to sprinkle the powder over as many grapes as possible.

Close your Ziploc bag

and shake it until the powder has been evenly spread over all the grapes.

After that I let out all the air in the bag before putting it in the freezer.

Put the grapes in the freezer

until they are completed frozen.

Once they are frozen that's it, you're done! Feel free to take them our and enjoy them whenever you like!

. . . . . . . . . .
Dusty Grapes
Source: Big Red Kitchen

3 cups grapes
1 small box Jell-O Sugar-Free Gelatin Dessert (any flavor), dry powder

Place frozen grapes in a quart sized zip top bag, add Jell-O powder, zip bag and shake well. Be sure that your frozen grapes are right from the freezer because any condensation will cause clumping. I place a small amount in ramekins as treats for the kiddies (well all right I confess, me too!) and quickly return leftovers to the freezer.

Serves: 6; PointsPlus+: 2

Just a note when you are counting your pointsplus+: Technically grapes are zero pointsplus+ and technically Jell-O is zero pointsplus+. However, when I put these into Weight Watchers recipe builder it calculated the nutritional facts for both of these ingredients and it came out to be 2 pointsplus+ per serving. Either way it is a pretty healthy and refreshing snack option.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Healthy Eating Without the Hassle


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

The latest nutritional science points toward a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, paired with healthy sources of protein and fats. A largely plant-based diet with protein from fish, skinless poultry, nuts, legumes, and small amounts of lean meats opens the door to good health.

Equally important is to choose foods in forms that are as close as possible to the way they came from nature. A cherry, for example, is a better choice than a cherry fruit bar. Whole-grain bread trumps white bread.

While it may seem like a lot of extra effort to eat more healthfully, it doesn’t have to be. You only need to keep in mind three simple steps: eat more plant-based foods, fewer animal-based foods, and only as much food as your body needs. Here are some ways to do this:

Focus on unprocessed or minimally processed foods.
By doing so, you’ll naturally consume foods that have the amounts and combinations of fiber and nutrients that nature intended. Many factory-made foods, in contrast, are stripped of natural fiber and nutrients and filled with ingredients made to stimulate appetite and keep you eating more. Processed meats, in particular, are linked with heart disease and cancer. Unprocessed foods have no added sugar, fat, or salt. Most also have more fiber.

Be adventurous.
To get a broader range of disease-fighting nutrients, think beyond whole-grain pasta and broccoli. Try new grains, vegetables, and fruits. Bulgur and quinoa are good grain alternatives. Novel kinds of beans, fruits, and vegetables abound. You can experiment with new recipes that rely less on meat and make use of different ingredients and herbs and spices for flavor sources.

Mix it up.
A good rule of thumb for each day is to try to get three servings of fruit, three to four servings of vegetables, some lean protein, some whole grains, healthy oils, some nonfat or low-fat dairy, and a serving of nuts or legumes. At each meal, look at your plate: about one-half should be fruits and vegetables, one-quarter lean proteins (fish, poultry, beans, or tofu), and one-quarter whole grains.

Drink enough liquids.
Because many foods contain water, most people get sufficient liquid each day without making a special effort. But it can be helpful throughout the day to drink water or another no-calorie liquid as an alternative to snacking or to wash down meals. Plus, as you increase your fiber content with whole-grain foods, water helps ferry it smoothly through your digestive tract and protects you from constipation. Drinking 4 to 6 cups of water a day is a reasonable and healthful goal.

Keep protein portions small.
For proteins like meat and chicken, 3 ounces for lunch and slightly more for dinner is a good goal. Keep in mind that 4 ounces of meat is the size of a deck of cards.

Aim for at least two servings of fish each week.
However, avoid large, predatory deep ocean fish (such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and blue fin tuna) because of their higher mercury content.

Plan ahead.
If you snack, plan ahead for healthy snacks to minimize the risk of impulsively eating unhealthy foods. Stay away from sugary drinks and their empty calories.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Snack Smart


Here is the meeting summary from August 6, 2011.

I know that the summer can be so hectic, but make time for yourself and for the meetings. Now more than ever you need that support and motivation.

This week in the meeting room we talked about Snacking Smart. We discovered that people already know what times of the day that they are going to get cravings.

For example:
*mid-morning craving around 10 am after breakfast and before lunch
*mid-work day lull sometime between 1 and 5 pm
*on your way home from work when all the restaurants smell so good
*after supper and before bedtime
*late night cravings
*long car trips

Now if we already know that we are going to be hungry during these times, the best thing that we can do is plan and prepare for these snacks. Instead of fighting the hunger, (and being oober cranky at work) your best bet is to budget snacks into your daily points plus allowance.

Power foods offer us amazing nutrition, are the lowest in pointsplus+ values, and they give you the longest lasting feeling of satisfaction. Because of all these benefits power foods really can be a wonderful option for your snacking.

When we don’t plan for our snacks, we usually do not have healthy options around, so we end up spending a lot more unwanted pointsplus+ on a less satisfying food because it was all we could find.

Always have a stash of food where you have the most amount of snack cravings.
Keep something at work (desk drawer, break-room, locker, etc.)
Keep something in your purse/bag.
Have something in your car (*don’t recommend chocolate this time of year)
Have something by your bed at night. (keeps the kids out of your treats and keeps you from getting up and browsing to the kitchen)

Fat, protein and fiber are the best 3 ingredients when trying to snack smart. Fat and protein will provide the longest-lasting energy, while slow-to-digest fiber will keep you feeling fuller longer. You should also include some carbohydrates, which are a source of rapid energy.

Try some of these tasty snack options:
• Low-fat vanilla yogurt topped with chopped fresh fruit and a spoonful of chopped peanuts.
• Whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese.
• Instant oatmeal mixed with a small amount of dried fruit bits and slivered almonds.
• Peanut butter and jelly on light whole wheat bread.
• Apple slices and peanut butter.
• Veggie straws with hummus.
• Half a turkey sandwich with low-fat mayonnaise.
• A small handful of nuts and raisins.
• A low-fat granola bar.
• A cup of bean soup.

In this heat try some cold options! Try freezing your fresh fruit and eat them as a tasty treat later to help cool you down. Try blueberries, grapes, and even bananas.
When freezing bananas be sure to take the peel off first.
a) You can cut a banana in half and then stick a Popsicle stick in each half to make a tasty treat
b) Slice up the banana and place it in a Ziploc bag and put it in the freezer. This makes a great on the go snack and almost tastes like eating a banana ice cream.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Staying on Track


Happy Monday!! How was your weekend!? My weekend was great. Originally, I thought that I would be spending a lot of time by myself, but to my surprise Jon was home on Saturday. I love him!!

I also switched my weigh in day to Saturday! I was down a little from what I weighed in at on Tuesday which was nice. I even managed to stay within my daily pointsplus+ target on Saturday! Yesterday, we much more challenging and I went over my daily pointsplus+, but that is why I have a weekly pointsplus+ allowance that I can tap into.

This morning, I am forgiving myself for going over yesterday and moving on. It is not going to help me to continue to dwell on what already happened. I am getting right back on track and know that I can do a good job on plan this week.

Speaking of staying on track, the text below was a radio broadcast that I heard last week. This segment was done by Lysa TerKeurst, whom I adore! Please take a moment and be encouraged by what Lysa has to say.

. . . . . . . . . .
Staying On Track
Radio Hostess: Lysa TerKeurst
Contributing Writer: Lysa TerKeurst

When friends ask how I’ve managed to eat healthy for the past few years, I say it’s one good choice after another! Hi, I’m Lysa TerKeurst with Proverbs 31 Ministries.

It’s not easy, I have to think ahead about the realities of the food choices I make every day.

If I were struggling with my finances, I would need to think about the price before I decide to buy something. The same is true with my food choices. I can’t eat, eat, eat and just pretend the calories won’t add up. I need to remember that I have the power to make sure the next thing I put in my mouth is healthy.

We were meant to consume food. Food was never meant to consume us. And, we can ask God to help us make the right food choices, to know when enough is enough, and to listen to that still, small voice inside that says, “stop.”

With God’s help we can make one wise choice after the other! For more ideas, visit

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fun Without Food


Here is the meeting summary from July 30, 2011.

This week in the meeting room we talked about some ways that we can have fun without food!

Imagine that you're an event planner, and you're planning three big parties: a wedding, a family reunion and a child's birthday. Now imagine that you have to plan all of these events without food. Is it possible to have a good time without eating? You bet!

Creativity is key
Brainstorming can help you solve many weight-loss problems. So think about how to make these parties a hit without using food as the focus. Displaying old photos and videos of the bride and groom at the wedding is a fun way to get all of the guests involved. Staging a family-themed scavenger hunt will make all of your family members work together as a team (and enjoy themselves along the way). And to keep everyone entertained at a children's party, just think games, games and more games!

I know it's not very likely that you'll ever attend a party or celebration that is completely without food. But now that you've had a chance to brainstorm non-food activities that would make a party enjoyable, you can expand these ideas the next time you're planning a get-together, so that food isn't the most important part of the event.

In addition to keeping food and fun two separate entities, establishing your Winning Outcomes for a certain celebration is a great way to keep your focus on weight loss, not on the food buffet. Winning Outcomes, a powerful resource from Weight Watchers Tools for Living, will help you to figure out exactly what you want from weight loss. Once you decide that reaching your weight-loss goals is more important than overindulging at a party, you can really begin to work toward reaching those goals.

Fun without food
I now know that I can
Have fun everywhere
If I make a good plan.
Go hiking go biking
A new attitude.
Is all that I need
To have fun without food.
- Susan

Try to remember to focus on your goals rather than on food at your next celebration!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Recipe Review: Sweet Barbacoa Pork

I am a HUGE fan of Gina's Weight Watchers recipes. Gina's website is called, She has awesome recipe ideas that are Weight Watchers friendly. I eat a lot of her recipes throughout the month. I am happy to say that several of these recipes have become staples in our home!

I am so excited to do a recipe review for this recipe!!

Marinade ingredients

Mix ingredients together and let sit for a few hours or overnight. I let mine sit overnight.

Ingredients for the sauce "step 2".

I used more than 8 oz of Coke Zero, I used about 12 oz.

Add tomato sauce

Add 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce

Add the rest of your spices

and brown sugar

Stir together. I made this sauce the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

I work all day and would not be able to follow the recipe instructions that Gina gives below. So, before work, I added the sauce to the marinade.

I let everything cook together for about 13 hours on low, while I was at work and Weight Watchers.

When I got home, Jon shred the pork for me.

I measured out 3 oz of pork just for me!

The pork turned out so great! We made tacos the first night. However, we have a lot of leftovers. For the next few nights we will have pork sandwiches and pork over rice with black beans.

. . . . . . . . . .
Slow Cooked Sweet Barbacoa Pork
Source: Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes

2.5 lbs pork loin roast, all fat trimmed
salt and pepper
garlic powder
6 oz Coke zero
1/4 cup brown sugar (unpacked)
1/4 cup water

Step 2
8 oz Coke zero
6 oz can sliced green chilies
8 oz tomato sauce
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup brown sugar (unpacked)

Season pork with salt, pepper and garlic powder and place in the crock pot. Add 6 oz of coke and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Marinate refrigerated for a few hours or overnight turning meat at least once while marinating.

Remove crock from refrigerator, add water, and cook on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily). Remove pork from crock pot and discard any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork with two forks.

Step two: In the crock pot, combine 8 oz coke, green chilies, tomato sauce, chipotle chile, garlic powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder and remaining brown sugar.

Put shredded pork back in the crock pot and combine with sauce. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, cover and cook on high 1-1/2 hours more.

Servings: about 10 • Serving Size: 3 oz • Old Points: 4.5 pts • Points+: 5 pts • Calories: 202.5 • Fat: 6.3 g • Protein: 26.2 g • Carb: 11.5 g • Fiber: 0.6 g


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