Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Looneyspoons Collection: Good Food, Good Health, Good Fun!

I was so excited to receive a copy of "The Looneyspoons Collection: Good Food, Good Health, Good Fun!" by, Janet & Greta Podleski. This cookbook is amazing, because it's funny, easy to read, accessible in cooking techniques, loaded with nutrition fun facts, and brimming with recipes. Yes, there are 325 recipes - almost all of which we actually want to make!

Each recipe includes the nutritional data which includes the quantity of: calories, total fat, saturated fat, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, cholesterol and sodium. These facts would be enough to calculate the pointsplus values for each individual recipe. There are also nutritional and health facts scattered amongst the recipes often pertaining to a particular ingredient used in the recipe or just to inspire exercise or other health-related endeavors.

Surprisingly, this cookbook is hysterical. These sisters have a great sense of humor. The titles of their recipes are great! AND the recipes are delicious. So what's on the list for future dinners? "Chicken Teriwacky", "Livin' on the Vedge", and "Sammy Salsa" and many more!

Make sure you stop by http://janetandgreta.com, their website is FULL of amazing info!

I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for this review.  I did not get paid for this review.  Receiving a free copy of the book in no way influences the review that I gave.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Notes to Self

Tuesday I went off plan. It wasn't intentional, but it just kind of happened. We were meeting my Dad for lunch and instead of taking the time to make something healthy for myself, I just opted to eat what everyone else was eating for lunch. I had plenty of pointsplus for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. However, instead of adjusting the rest of my day accordingly, I let myself go and ate whatever I wanted throughout the rest of the day.

As a result of my poor food choices, I spent Tuesday evening in a lot of physical pain. There is a good chance that I have some gallbladder stones that tend to act up when I make bad food choices. I have not had an attack like this in a long time. While I was doing everything I could to ease my pain, I decided that I need to begin to write notes of encouragement to myself, so that this won't happen again.

Yesterday, that is exactly what I did!

I wrote two notes to self, "If you feel like going off plan" and "If you feel like overeating". In my note, I described how it felt to eat off plan on Tuesday. I reminded myself of how far I have come and to continue to keep up the good work.  I also mentioned just how awful I feel when I overeat or eat off plan.

I don't want this slip up to keep me from reaching my weight loss goals, but I want to learn from them. The next time I feel like overeating, I can pull out my note to self and be encouraged to make a healthy choice. I am excited to see how well these notes work in the coming months as I continue to lose my baby weight.

As I have more time, I plan to write additional notes to myself. I have a list of ideas below.

- If you feel discouraged
- If you feel like you are ugly
- If you feel defeated
- If you feel like you are having a fat day
- If you feel like going off plan
- If you feel like overeating

Are there notes that you need to write to yourself? What other ideas do you have? What would your note to self say?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Snack Girl to the Rescue


I was so excited to have an opportunity to read, "Snack Girl to the Rescue: A Real-Life Guide to Losing Weight and Getting Healthy with 100 Recipes Under 400 Calories" by, Lisa Cain aka Snack Girl. I was pleasantly surprised to find the first part of Lisa's book, which is just over 100 pages, filled with encouragement and guidance to help people lose weight and get healthy. Lisa is a real person who has struggles with her weight and it's great to know about the changes she had made so that she can lead a healthy lifestyle. Lisa's tips are practical and anyone could use them.

The rest of Lisa's book contains 100 recipes under 400 calories. These low calorie recipes are easy to prepare and tasty enough to enjoy with the whole family. Snack Girl's guilt-free recipes also include nutritional facts which can be applied to any weight loss program. Personally, I cannot wait to make Snack Girl's "Do-It-Yourself Cereal Bars" for my family.

The only downside to this book is that there aren't any pictures. However, if you visit Snack Girl's website, Lisa has many more recipe ideas with pictures.

I would highly recommend "Snack Girl to the Rescue" to anyone who wants to read some true, real information about food and snacking from someone who's been there, done that.

I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for this review.  I did not get paid for this review.  Receiving a free copy of the book in no way influences the review that I gave.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Shift In Focus

I want to thank you all for your encouragement regarding my previous blog post, "Is Weight Watchers Right For Me?"!! Your comments and emails are exactly what I needed to keep going. I guess I didn't realize just how much of a role model I have become to some of you. I'm not perfect, but I will continue to be honest and open about my weight loss struggles.

One of the main reasons that I love Weight Watchers is because I am allowed to eat anything I want. Nothing is off limits, as long as I have enough pointsplus. As I went through my initial weight loss process back in 2009, this was exactly what I needed, because at that time I was not ready to say goodbye to a lot of my favorite foods. Slowly, I began to make better food choices. However, I was still unwilling to give up a lot of the snack food that I enjoy.

Over the past few weeks, I have realized that in order for me to be successful I need make healthier food choices. I want to make the most of my food choices.

What does that mean? I am staying away from food like products and focusing on eating real food. As a result, I have not been eating snack food, chips, granola bars, cereal, desserts, chocolate, etc. My focus has become much more plant-based. I am eating vegetables, grains, legumes and fruit, with little or no animal products (including dairy).

I know that it sounds extreme. Let me tell you that this change in focus has been hard and I have had a few setbacks. However, I strongly believe that a shift in focus is exactly what I need to severe the cords between myself and the typical Western diet.

As I have begun to make healthier foods choices again, my excitement for healthy living has returned! I have even tried new foods like quinoa and chia seeds. I hope that I am able to share some of those new recipes with you in the not to distant future!

Lunch just 6 pointsplus! (black beans, brown rice, salsa, chia seeds)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Is Weight Watchers Right For Me?

Ever since I gave birth to my second daughter, Sophie, I have struggled to get back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon. I hate to admit this, but I have contemplated whether or not Weight Watchers is still the right program for me.

For the past few weeks, I have been tracking my Pointsplus and leading my meeting all the while wondering if there is something better out there.

Last night at my weekly Weight Watchers meeting, I met two members who changed everything for me. The first woman was a new member. To my surprise, she already knew who I was, because she has been following my blog. I just love meeting people who follow my weight loss blog!! Next, I was introduced to a woman who has been a Weight Watchers Lifetime member for over 25 years!!

God used these women to speak to my heart about a few things.

First, Weight Watchers isn't just another diet. God has chosen to use Weight Watchers to change my life! I continue to be blessed as the Lord uses my journey to encourage others. I pray that my decisions to begin to lead a healthy lifestyle will trickle down into the hearts and minds of my girls.

Second, I was reminded that Weight Watchers works!! I gained weight throughout my pregnancies, just like I was supposed to do. However, I haven't let myself go and gain back everything I originally lost. I can't wait for God to give me a victory over my baby weight in the coming months. I hope that in 25 years, I can say that I have been able to maintain my goal weight throughout the remained of my life.

I feel silly now admitting that I was uncertain about Weight Watchers. Now there is no doubt in my mind that Weight Watchers is the right lifestyle for me!!

Have you been a Weight Watchers member for a long time? What will it take for you to be excited about the Weight Watchers program again? Do you believe that Weight Watchers (or your weight loss program) is still the right one for you?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Is It Worth It - Power Point Presentation


Back in April, I was one of the guest speakers at a local Weight Watchers event called, "Is It Worth It?". At the event I talked about how to transform your favorite family recipes into more Weight Watchers friendly choices. After all, that is what I do with my Recipe Reviews, here at Living a Changed Life. Let's go through the process together as I share some of my powerpoint slides with you.

First, you find a recipe that you like. It might be a family recipe or a recipe that you found on Pinterest. Either way, it is probably a recipe that isn't Weight Watchers friendly yet.

Next, I open up my Weight Watchers Recipe Builder in eTools, because this really is my secret weapon! I evaluate the original recipe, taking on item at a time. For Example: The recipe might call for whole milk, but you could substitute fat free milk instead.

Also, play around with the portion sizes, because more portions equal less pointsplus per serving.

While you are in Recipe Builder, don't forget to use the "Lighten It Up" tab. Weight Watchers gives you lots of great ideas about other ways to lighten up your recipes. For Example: Instead of using butter, you could use applesauce.

As you can see in the slide above, the original recipes was 6 pointsplus per serving. However, after it was transformed, it was only 4 pointsplus per serving!

Ultimately you must ask yourself, "Is it worth it for you to take the time to transform some of your favorite recipes?"


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