Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Way We Move

As a follow-up to my earlier post detailing our health-conscious grocery store run, I bring you another grocery store conveyor belt picture that paints a thousand words:

We moved this past weekend. And the night before the big move, we needed some sustenance to give us the energy we'd need for packing and loading. With pots and pans tucked neatly away in various cardboard boxes, our dinner options were limited. Luckily, we stumbled upon some Boca burgers (2 Weight Watchers points each) in the freezer. After a quick grocery store run to grab the necessary sides (pictured above), we had all we needed for a delicious dinner.

And I was even able to enjoy some liquid dessert while finishing up our packing.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Easter Bunny Could Care Less about Weight Watchers

I have my dad to thank for my sweet tooth. I am a sucker for all things chocolate, nutty, and all-around gooey goodness. Which is why I love "candy holidays". For many people, Halloween is that time of year to indulge in bags of candy corns or Reece's Peanut Butter Cups. And, while I love Halloween candy, I love Easter candy even more.

Robin's Eggs are a personal favorite, closely followed by Snickers Eggs (they are so much better than the regular bar!), and, of course, the original Cadbury Creme Eggs. I'll even plow through a sleeve of Peeps!

Recently, I wandered down the Easter candy aisle at Target and my eyes lit up at the sight of all the candy. Thinking, "how bad could this be?", I started loading up the cart with my favorites before pausing to remember I needed to calculate the points in everything before I brought it into my home.

It was not good news.

Robin's Eggs (qty 14) = 4 points
1 Snickers Egg = 4 points
1 Cadbury Creme Egg = 4 points

I was visibly upset for the rest of the shopping trip.

Easter candy: 1, Jen: 0

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Just like risotto - but WAY easier!

This is one of my top 5 Weight Watcher recipes. The serving size is huge and its super easy. If you like risotto, this is a must-try! You can find barley in any grocery store. Check in the rice section.

2 sprays cooking spray
2/3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, finely chopped (also called baby bella)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked barley
1 tsp salt to taste

Coat a 3qt saucepan with cooking spray.
Melt the butter.
Add the onion and saute about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and cook until they release moisture, about 5 minutes.
Add broth, barley and salt; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover the pan and cook for 60 - 75 minutes or until barley is tender. Stir occasionally and add more broth if needed.

Serves 6 (about 1 cup/serving)
Points = 3

PS. For an added kick, I like to top with about 1 tbsp of shredded parmesan before serving. It adds another point, but I think its worth it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

What's For Dinner? Nachos Edition

Think nachos can't be done on Weight Watchers? Think again!

I consider myself a nacho aficionado, so the bar is set high. Even with baked tortilla chips, this combo satisfies! I paired it with a Don't Mess Around Margarita and was one happy camper.

Preparation recommendation: assemble chips, beans and cheese; pop into toaster oven to heat and melt; throw on avocado and salsa after. Mmmm.....

Guilt-Free Nachos:
Baked tortilla chips (18) 2.5
1/2 cup fat-free refried beans 2 pts
1/4 avocado 2 pts
Sprinkling of pepper jack cheese 1.5 pts
Your favorite salsa 0 pts
TOTAL 8 pts

Don't Mess Around Margarita:
2 jiggers tequila 4 pts
Fresh squeezed lime juice 0 pts
TOTAL 4 pts

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Curse of the Badonkadonk

So here's the thing: my hips don't lie. Thanks to my Latina heritage, I have always been caderona, or hippy. When I was in high school, this was brought to my attention (too) often by my mom, who, when I would grab an extra tamale or enchilada at a family get-together, would say, "Oooh mija... past your lips, onto your hips!"

But now that my mom's not around, I am reminded of my child rearin' hips every time I find myself walking down Mission Street, when various men inevitably shout things like "Girl, you got booty for DAAAAYZ!" or "Daaaamn! That's some BOOTY!" Or, my personal favorite, "Hey! Hey you! Booty girl! Hey Big Booty girl... can I have your number?" (Nothing like flattery to get to a woman.)

As any fellow booty girl will tell you, shopping for jeans is the absolute worst. I think it's safe to say that it is my version of hell, really. I have spent many an hour in a badly-lit fitting room (why does the lighting in fitting rooms somehow manage to exacerbate every roll and cellulite dimple that exists on one's body??), with a pile of denim at my side, repeatedly trying on jeans while fighting to hold back tears because they are simply. not. working.

These don't go over my hips. These don't zip. These give me muffin top. These are too loose on the waist but too tight on the hips. Get me out of this godforsaken fitting room before I light this store on fire!

A couple of months ago, I went through an experience like this but managed to emerge from Nordstrom Rack victorious: with a new pair of Seven jeans that fit and that made me happy. My feelings of contentment were short-lived, however. Because a couple of weeks later, the inseam on the left inner-thigh burst open and I had to take them to a tailor to get patched. This was rock bottom for me. Never have I felt like such a fatty in my whole life.

Now, 6 weeks into Weight Watchers, I have lost 11.4 pounds. The jeans with the patch on the inner thigh? I can't even wear them anymore because they are too big and they slide off my truthful hips.

Sometime within the next week, I will return to Nordstrom Rack, and I will try on more smaller-sized jeans. And while I know the experience won't exactly be pleasant, I'm sure I won't cry or have fantasies of arson.

And I'm even surer that the men on Mission won't stop calling me Booty girl anytime soon. Some things just don't change.

Happiness is...

A bank full of Weekly "FLEX" Points every Thursday morning!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Set Back

Everyday I get an email in my inbox from Today it said “129 days to go before your wedding!” Instead of feeling excited, I thought- Oh Crap. And this is why:

We are under a little stress in my household. It is wedding crunch time- invitations must be ordered, caterer backed out- we need a new one, the floral bids are hideously high, and my sister can’t find a flower girl dress for my niece (who is so cute, btw). Add to that, we have been search for a house and we found one.

We got on the house rollercoaster about two weeks ago. We were against five other bidders, we had to go through inspections, get the loan, blah blah. Let me tell you what this translates to: MAJOR eating binge on Saturday Night.

½ peppermint milk shake
½ tuna melt, fried, with cheese
10 fries (not that good or I would have eaten more)
2 chicken tenders
1 case of heartburn and major guilt

If only I had paid attention to the weight watchers booklet on emotional eating. The worst part was that I felt so gross after the big binge. My body has adjusted to nutritious weight watcher foods and was insulted when I coated it in grease, compliments of the Palo Alto Creamery.

The good news is that the binge was real wake up call. I wanted to count points the next day and I got to tracking as soon as I woke up. It wasn’t just the guilt, it was that my body was demanding some retribution. A binge like that won’t cause you to gain major weight, but it will put a dent in to your psyche, which is half the battle for me. I need to remember to keep a balance, that is why weight watchers is so helpful. I can’t say that I am never going to reach for the chicken tenders in a time of crisis, but I will think twice when I have to track it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eleven Points in a ...Large Order of Fries

It caught my attention last week, when it hit the news, that two very iconic brands are going to do the logo dance resulting in one very ironic cha-cha-cha. McDonald's New Zealand is pairing up with Weight Watchers to identify, and subliminally recommend, various popular menu items and provide point equivalents to both customer sets.

One of the beauties of Weight Watchers is that you can eat whatever you want, including fast food, if you so choose. Just make sure it fits into your daily point allotment...cuz if you run out of points before noon, then you are S.O.L.

Three of the items that McDonald's New Zealand and Weight Watchers will highlight are the Filet-O-Fish, Chicken McNuggets and Seared Chicken Wrap. Here are the American equivalents and their point values:
Filet-O-Fish 9 points
Chicken McNuggets (6) 7 points
Grilled Chicken Snack Wrap 6 points

Because I worked on the McDonald's brand in various forms (PR, advertising, marketing) for a decade of my career, I know the menu inside and out. I know what is a healthy choice and what isn't. I also think I know why Weight Watchers is all for this union. The Golden Arches is the third most-recognized logo/symbol in the WORLD, trumped only by the Red Cross and the Olympic rings. It is a pure business move for Weight Watchers exposure. And we know why McDonald's is doing it -- so they can increase their perception as fitting into a healthy lifestyle. The problem is that Weight Watchers is doing this for themselves, not for their customers. It would behoove both companies and this partnership to concentrate on more healthy menu items to highlight to their customers, like the grilled chicken salad or sandwich, apple dippers and yogurt parfait, rather than the fried numbers. Who wants to blow a quarter of their points for the day popping 6 McNuggets into their mouth (and that's without sauce!).

By the way, if you're looking to trade in your bottle of wine for a McDonald's menu item, the Large French Fries come in at 11. Bottoms up!

Monday, March 22, 2010

And in this corner...

Because everything we've been learning in Weight Watchers is centered around "smart choices", please accept this as an amendment to my earlier post about Kettle Chips.

9 S&P Kettle Chips = 3 points
22 Sour Cream & Onion Pop Chips = 3 points

Ladies & gentlemen, we have a winner.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Moroccan Stew

Here is a quick and easy one pot stew (well, two pots if you put it over brown rice). When I'm worried that I won't be able to eat fresh veggies before they go bad, I chop them up, put them on a cookie sheet, freeze them and store in freezer zip-lock bags. Makes week night cooking that much quicker!

You can really use any combo of veggies in this dish. Its the spices that give it a Moroccan flair!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion
2 medium carrots
1 cup butternut squash
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup bell pepper

1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
salt & pepper

1 15oz can garbanzo beans (drained)
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1.5 cups vegetable broth

Heat the olive oil in a large pot.
Add the onion and carrot cooking until tender, about 3 minutes.
Add the remaining vegetables and cook another 3 minutes.
Add the garbanzo beans and spices and toss until the beans and veggies are coated with the spices.
Add the tomatoes and broth; simmer for about 25 minutes or until sauce has reduced and thickened.
Serve over 1/2 cup brown rice with 1 Tbsp light sour cream.

al = 7 points (including the rice and sour cream). Serves 4.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

If Kobe Could...

The 1996 NBA draft is arguably the most impressive in the league's recent history.  It saw the career birth of superstars like Allen Iverson, Steve Nash and Ray Allen.  But most importantly, it was the year 17 year-old Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to be selected to join its ranks.

I didn't watch the draft that day.  In fact, I wasn't even much of a basketball fan then.  But there was something magical, even mesmerizing about the day that summer that the Charlotte Hornets traded young Kobe to the Lakers.  Los Angles was abuzz with the idea that this young superstar was moving to LA to join Shaq and hopefully elevate the team to the nostalgic greatness of the Magic/Kareem days.  Excitement was palpable.  Expectations were huge.  And everything was about to change.

Kobe would accomplish even more than anyone could ever imagine... 4 title rings, 3 All-Star MVP honors, 1 Olympic gold medal and the record as the highest scoring Laker of all time.  Oh, and by the way, he hasn't even retired yet. 

But he would also experience struggle.  An affair that turned into rape allegations would leave him buried in a legal nightmare at the height of his career.  He lost all of his endorsements, spent some time in jail, and almost lost his family.

What does any of this have to do with Weight Watchers you may legitimately wonder?  Well, I'm getting to that.

You see, Kobe was 17 when I was 17.  I was amazed that someone my own age was about to make millions upon millions of dollars, was on the cover of every magazine, was going to have 20,000 fans screaming his name nightly, and somehow, just barely, managed to remain calm, poised and articulate.  He became someone I admired.  He became a symbol of all that was possible for my generation.  He was downright amazing.

So this week, as I stepped on that dreaded Weight Watchers scale and saw the numbers fail to decline, I felt disappointed in myself.  I realized I didn't track very well.  I let myself splurge on high point foods a few too many times.  And I didn't keep a deal with myself to get moving again.  Basically, I didn't really try.

As I sat in the weekly meeting I started thinking about inspiration... how I needed to dig a bit deeper and find something to focus on that would keep me on track.  And naturally.  The first thing to come to mind, was Kobe.  I thought, if Kobe could find a way to get to the gym an hour early every day, spend hours practicing with the team, and still find time to practice his jump shot at night, I can find a way to take a minute or two and write down what I put in my mouth.  If Kobe could play 82 games a year through numerous injuries and illnesses, I can walk a couple miles home from work once or twice a week.  And if Kobe could get through a rape trial, avoid a divorce and manage to be a good dad, I can resist an afternoon cookie when I'm feeling a little stressed at work.

So this week is all about restructuring my thinking.  Those things that seemed painful and annoying last week (e.g. tracking and moving) are really just simple, easy tasks on the path to my goal this week.  I have a new mindset.  A new inspiration.  And it may sound cheesy, but it's really very simple:

If Kobe could.  I can.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Back to Reality

To piggyback on Jen's post about our trip to NYC, I thought I'd add this photo. It depicts the dinner we had last night, our first night back from vacation.

Would I have rather had the wild mushroom mac n' cheese for dinner last night? Yes. Do I feel better about the fact that I opted for a low point meal of curry chicken and lentils, instead? Yes. Both mentally and, uh, gastrointestinally, if you know what I mean. (Yes, that is a poop joke. I went there.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New York City & Not an Apple in Sight : UPDATE!

Vacation be damned!
As of the 3/17 weigh-in, I lost 3.6 big ones!

I wasn't exactly prepared for our weekend trip to New York. Sure, my bags were packed and I had time for a glass of wine before heading to SFO for a red-eye, but that's not what I mean. What I mean is that I wasn't prepared to venture away from home on a vacation during the first month of Weight Watchers.

San Francisco is one thing; while we have thousands of restaurants here, it's not nearly on the same scale. And, because I live here, I don't feel compelled to try them all at once or eat everything on the menu (most of the time), probably because I know I can always "come back for dessert sometime" or try "that new pizza place" when it fits into my Weight Watchers points allotment.

But New York? Entirely different. Not only are there more than 20,000 restaurants registered with the Health Department in NYC, there are places like Chip Shop. And Bouchon Bakery. And Magnolia Bakery. And warm nut carts. And hot dog stands. And bars. And more bars. And even more bars!!

Over the past few years I've made it a habit to get to NYC for a visit at least once a year and, every year, there's always something I crave. For many years, it was the house roll from Haru (sushi). But, for the past two years, it's been the savory, cheesy goodness of aforementioned Chip Shop's wild mushroom mac & cheese and their deep-fried-to perfection fish & chips. Accompanied, of course, by a 22oz Newcastle or two.

While a place that served double-fried cherry pie until it was banned by the NYC health department last year and that STILL serves fried candy bars should certainly not be on the list while one is trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle, I started thinking about Chip Shop about a month ago. (If you're keeping track, that timing corresponds to my join date with Weight Watchers.)

I was plotting and planning points to figure out how I could somehow work the mushroom mac and delicious fish & chips into my allotted dailies, assuming I could borrow from the bonus points, and make it all fit somehow. That would have been fine were it the only thing I tried to "squeeze" into my points allotment.

What I didn't count on was the "we're on vacation!" glass of wine before the flight (and at every possible stop along the way). Or the Ruffles & ranch dip and homemade Buckeyes at the party on Saturday. Those were all just sweet surprises starting with "what the hell!"

But, however bad all this seems, with the help of our NYC blogger Suz, we managed to work some "small successes" into our vacation:

1. We woke up - although jet lagged - and worked out at 8:30am on Saturday morning
2. We attended Suz's WW meeting - led by WW celeb Liz - with her on Saturday morning
3. We walked ... everywhere!
4. We had a "Loreal-approved" dance party that lasted into the wee hours of the morning - surely worth a few activity points?

Clearly, I am prepared for a gain this week. But, it was vacation and I held myself accountable for everything, tracking as best I could along the way. Except for maybe that Sunday morning bloody mary that, I will admit, I chalked up to "what the hell! I am on vacation!" and enjoyed every minute of.

Monday, March 15, 2010

In Prep for St. Patty's

There is nothing worse than walking into an Irish pub on St. Patrick's Day and seeing people drinking anything but a holiday-appropriate beverage. This is NOT the day to order your vodka-cran or a crisp white wine, people. Here are the choices: either green beer, a shot of Jameson's or a Guinness. You might enjoy the Luck O' the Irish if you employ the latter, here's why:

For starters, there are studies that claim that Guinness can be beneficial to the heart. Researchers have found that antioxidant compounds in Guinness, similar to those found in certain fruits and vegetables, are responsible for health benefits because they slow down the deposit of harmful cholesterol on the artery walls.

Even more important, there are 4 Weight Watchers points in a glass of Guinness draught stout; one whole pint is equal to two cups, so compared to an equal pour of wine (6.5 points), you save 2.5 points on the Guinness, ounce for ounce. Hello!

Despite its reputation as a "meal in a glass", Guinness only contains 198 calories per pint…..fewer than skimmed milk or orange juice and most other non-light beers. As if you needed another excuse to pour beer over your cereal.

And now, a toast:

"If you're lucky enough to be Irish, then you're lucky enough."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Will Power

I will only have 1 serving (9 chips) of these for 3 points.
And I will enjoy every. last. bite.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'll Drink To That!

Ok, I admit it. I have "a drink" practically every day. Over the course of the four weeks since I started WW, I think I've counted only three days that I haven't had at least once alcoholic beverage. Typical weekday beverages include the occasional martini (3 pts), fresh lime margarita (3-4 pts), but most often I am pouring myself a glass of wine (2 WW servings: 80z 3.5 pts). As far as the weekends go, all bets are off and I think I speak for most of the contributors to this blog when I say: the majority of those extra points given to spread throughout the week are most likely going towards cocktails with large emphasis on wine.

I've often wondered what my progress would be if I stopped drinking. Not altogether (because that would be ridiculous!). But just for a week. Well, I will find out sooner or later, but not this week. In the news this week is some encouraging findings from the Archives of Internal Medicine (sounds legit to me!) on exactly what this blog is all about: WEIGHT LOSS and WINE (via WOMEN bloggers). I am not going to stretch the truth and say there isn't room for some booze tapering in my one of our post commenters so eloquently put it, "I'm trying to recall the last time I had one 4oz. serving of wine." But it is good to know, from a scientific standpoint, that working wine into the lifestyle might just be a great move!

Please drink responsibly.

Women Who Drink Gain Less Weight
Lars Klove for The New York Times

Can a drink a day keep the pounds away?

Dieters are often advised to stop drinking alcohol to avoid the extra calories lurking in a glass of wine or a favorite cocktail. But new research suggests that women who regularly consume moderate amounts of alcohol are less likely to gain weight than nondrinkers and are at lower risk for obesity.

The findings, reported this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, are based on a study of 19,220 United States women aged 39 or older who, at the start of the study, fell into the “normal weight” category based on their body mass index. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston tracked the women’s drinking habits over 13 years. About 60 percent of the women were light or regular drinkers, while about 40 percent reported drinking no alcohol.
Over the course of the study, 41 percent of the women became overweight or obese. Although alcohol is packed with calories (about 150 in a six-ounce glass of wine), the nondrinkers in the study actually gained more weight over time: nine pounds, on average, compared with an average gain of about three pounds among regular moderate drinkers. The risk of becoming overweight was almost 30 percent lower for women who consumed one or two alcohol beverages a day, compared with nondrinkers.

The findings are certain to be confusing for women who continue to receive conflicting messages about the health benefits and risks of alcohol. Although moderate drinking is associated with better heart health, regular drinking also increases breast cancer risk.
The trend toward less weight gain among drinkers doesn’t appear to hold true for men. A 2003 study of British men showed that regular drinkers gained more weight than nondrinkers. Studies suggest that drinking alcohol has different effects on eating habits among men and women. Men typically add alcohol to their daily caloric intake, whereas women are more likely to substitute alcohol for food. In the Archives study, women who drank alcohol reported fewer calories from food sources, particularly carbohydrates.

In addition, there may be differences in how men and women metabolize alcohol. Metabolic studies show that after men drink alcohol, they experience little if any metabolic change. But alcohol appears to slightly speed up a woman’s metabolism.
The link between consumption of red wine and less weight gain was particularly pronounced in the Archives study. Some studies have suggested that resveratrol, a compound present in grapes and red wine, appears to inhibit the development of fat cells and to have other antiobesity properties.

The findings don’t mean women should rush to drink alcohol to lose weight. Other research shows that once a person is already overweight, her alcohol metabolism is more efficient, and so an overweight woman may gain more weight from alcohol than a lean woman. The data do, however, suggest that for many women facing weight problems, the extra calories are probably not coming from alcoholic beverages.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I've been on Weight Watchers this time around for about 3 months.  I'm making steady progress, but it's a little slow going these days.  I haven't been 100% committed to tracking 100% of the time.  And sometimes my meal plans get thrown out the window when fresh bagels make an appearance at a morning meeting. 

So, this week my goal is to start moving.  I know that's technically supposed to happen in Week 3, but Week 3 was Christmas.  Week 4 was New Year's.  Week 6 was a major move.  And Week 10 I started a new job.  Excuses, excuses.  So it's time to put the pedal to the metal, or sneaker to pavement, and step into gear!

I was cruising around the activity section of to try to get inspired since I've been feeling a little burnt out on my old standbys (yoga, tennis, running).  Since the weather in SF is basically frigid rain and wind these days, I need an indoor activity.  I hate gyms.  I have a hard time committing to classes of any kind due to my erratic work schedule.  And I prefer an activity that includes listening to music so I don't notice the minutes ticking by like hours.  Hmm...

What about sex???  I mean, I can burn calories while enjoying physical pleasure, listen to some Al Green (or the like) and I don't even need to buy a new pair of sneakers.  Genius!

Well to my dismay, according to the activity tracker on, there is no activity credit given for sex.  WTH?!  Sex can be much more physically taxing than an afternoon stroll through the park (1 point), a mid-morning yoga class (2 points) or a friendly game of tennis (3 points).  So I've devised my own point system.  It may not be sanctioned by Weight Watcher's, but by the power invested in me (which is none), I hereby present a new category of activity points... SEXERCISE!

Quickie (10 minutes of moderate physical activity) - 1 point
Topsy turvy (20-30 minutes on top) - 2 points
New tricks (30-45 minutes of trying to impress a new partner with your strength or flexibility) - 3 points
OH MY GOD (45+ minutes of hair-matted-against-the-forehead-sweaty-like-a-pig-sex) - 4 points

Great!  I have a plan.  I will exercise.  I will enjoy myself while doing it.  This will be the year I hit my goal weight!

Only one small problem...  I am single.  And there are no prospects in sight. 

Anyone know a good yoga studio in the Mission?

Quenching My Thirst

Fact: I am always thirsty.
Fact: I don’t like water.

The two statements above have created some serious problems for me throughout the years.

I hate water. I can’t stand the way it tastes. I don’t even like tea, because it tastes too much like water. For as long as I can remember, it has been this way. I have been strongly opposed to drinking any kind of water. As a result, when thirsty, I will drink anything (and everything) BUT water. I will drink Gatorade, I will drink Vitamin Water, and regular coke has always been a vice of mine. I will drink flavored bubbly water, I will drink juice, and I have even been known to steal the Capri suns from my little brother's lunches.

The past few years have been the most problematic for me, as sugary juices and sodas have been slowly replaced by a steady flow of, well, booze. A mimosa with breakfast is always fabulous, a cold beer (or beer. or beer.) will always help wash my lunch down, and I can’t imagine having dinner without at least a couple glasses of wine (or wine. or wine.) I’ve mastered the art of gettin’ low on the dance floor with a ketel cranberry in hand, I love tropical summer drinks, and I handle my jello shots with style and grace.

Oh, and did I mention that I have gained 20 pounds over the last two years?

Obviously, something needed to change. So in starting Weight Watchers, I also decided it was time to reform my water-hating ways.

Luckily, Jen helped me come up with a workaround. Knowing that I will only drink water when it is ice cold and lemony, she bought a big nalgene, filled it halfway with water, and froze it over night. The next morning, she sliced fresh lemon wedges into it and filled it the rest of the way with water.

Success! That day at work, I refilled my 750ml nalgene 4 times! And now I drink it everyday.

Fact: My skin looks better.
Fact: I have been getting less headaches.
Fact: I have lost 9 pounds in three weeks!!

This is not to say I’m going to give up other drinks, by any means. I guess I just need to get good at double fisting.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I'll just have a salad...

mixed greens
shredded carrot
diced tomato
chopped mushrooms
sliced onion
1/2 avocado (4.5pts)
1/2 can tuna in oil (drained - 3pts)
salt & pepper
Total = 8pts

The residual oil in the canned tuna serves as "dressing". And eating half an avocado is just heaven! I threw in another 0.5pts for good measure.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Engagement Party: Before & After

As Erika mentioned, we are both getting married this year. It is all very exciting- the planning, the gifts, the late nights curling up with my fiancé, Ian. However, with each party, comes endless snapping of pictures. Translation: Angle arm & tilt head, try to look as thin as possible.

A few weeks ago, my Dad held an engagement party for us. (see Jen’s posting of Martini Points). As I zipped up my little black dress, I felt that all of my hard work had finally paid off. I felt great!

Until… I was scrolling down through the pictures and found this:

Now there is a lot going on in this picture: Ian is about to fall asleep on the couch, Ian’s Mom looks lovely and is wearing Chanel shoes, Ian’s Dad has fallen off his chair thanks to the Martini Bar, the dog is walking around and wait- what is that thing in white off to the right? Dear LORD- it is my stomach. Though I am clearly horrified, this was the best reminder that my work is not done. I cannot sit back and enjoy caviar (as I did last weekend with champagne & crème fraiche).

So this week, I am focusing on tracking and planning my meals. It isn’t easy, but when I feel my resolve start to weaken, I take a glance at my new screen saver entitled “Stomach in White.”

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What's for Dinner?

Grilled Walnut Encrusted Tilapia (5pts)
- combine 1TB finely ground walnuts + 1TB bread crumbs (2pts)
- coat 5oz tilapia filet (3pts) w/egg white & cover with walnut mixture, salt & pepper
Near East Rice Pilaf (1/2 cup = 1.5pts)
Grilled Asparagus (1tsp olive oil, salt & pepper = 1pt)
Wine (8oz = 3.5pts)

All grilling was done on my trusty stovetop grill pan.

This was a delicious and healthy dinner (with wine to boot) all for, you guessed it....Eleven Points.

They're bbbaaaaccccckkkkkkkk.........

Just when you thought it was safe to support Girl Scout Troupe #7142.

Point count in one GS cookie = 1+

Point count in one GS cookie serving = 4+

Average time of one GS cookie in mouth = 20 seconds

In comparison, 2 servings of wine (8 oz) is less points (3.5) than one whole serving of GS cookies. Not to mention the wine has no fat and gives you a buzz. Yeah, I'm gonna stick with the wine, thanks.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snack Attack!

I love sweets and I love snacking. And I love snacking on sweets.

Easily accessible quick fixes that satisfy a sweet or salty tooth.

Rice Crispy Treat = 2 pts
WW Red Velvet Mini Bar = 1 pt
WW Peanut Butter Bliss Mini Bar = 1 pt
Lorna Doone 100 Calorie Packs Shortbread Cookies = 2 pts
Buttered Popcorn (2 cups) = 3 points
Pretzels = 2 pts

Monday, March 1, 2010

These Ain't Paula Deen's Recipes!

One of the things I've been loving about WW is figuring out low-point meals.

Last week, I made a movie-watching crowd-pleasing meal of whole wheat spaghetti w/ turkey meatballs + Caesar salad for 7 points (minus the wine and garlic bread).

A few nights later, it was scallops wrapped in jumbo prawns with a honey mustard glaze + spinach and mushroom couscous for a low key dinner at home with Loreal and her sister that registered at 5.5 points.

This weekend, Loreal whipped up this hearty breakfast (in bed) for me because I was sick:

3 egg whites = 1 pt
1/4 cup avocado = 2 pts
1/8 cup diced tomato = 0 pts
1 slice deli ham, diced = 0 pts
1 tbs goat cheese = .5 pt
100 calorie Thomas' English muffin = 1 pt
1 tbs Land o' Lakes buttery spread = 2 pts
1 tbs light sour cream = .5 pt
2 tbs salsa = 0 pts
6oz Trop50 orange juice = 1 pt
Coffee w/ Splenda & 2 tbs 1% milk = .5 pt
Total Points: 7

And tonight, I put this together post-workout (modified a bit from the WW Weekly newsletter):

Turkey chili serving = 4 points
>Ground turkey
>Pinto beans
>Mexican style canned tomatoes + fresh tomatoes
>Spices (chili powder, oregano, cumin, s&p)
>Diced onion, sauteed
>Pam olive oil spray
Mission low carb tortilla, baked crispy = 1 pt
1/8 cup shredded cheese = 1.5 pts
1/4 cup avocado = 2 pts
1.5 tbs light sour cream = .5 pt
Total Points = 9

What did Loreal think of that meal? "I have to be honest with you, I feel like licking that plate right now and that says something"


That's One Small Step For Man...

There is one steadfast barometer for weight gain or loss. Ski pants.

Ski pants generally don't shrink or expand to any great degree, and for 3/4 of the year, you don't wear them. My ski pants sat idle from May - December 2009, while I lived my non-winter life. Summer bar-b-ques, cocktails at restaurants out on the patio, holiday parties. As I gobbled my way through the year, I had forgotten....about those ski pants in the closet.

January finally came back around and quite out of nowhere one morning, I reached for the pants. I suddenly got very nervous. How tight would they be on my thighs? Would I be able to put chapstick or my phone on the front pocket without it protruding out? Would I be able to button those buttons without them popping back open?

Tahoe....we have a problem.

The ski pants turned out to be so tight, I was wishing I had a tight pair of pantyhose to put under them -- not because it was a cold, snowy day and I needed the insulation...but because I needed something to suck myself into them. Luckily I have a long ski jacket, so I was able to cover them up on top. But they sure were uncomfortable.

Two weeks later and two and a half weeks since the start of WW, I found myself starring back at those pants this weekend. I had forgotten about them, how uncomfortable they were, how I didn't want to take my jacket off. The weekly weigh-in is one thing, but these pants were going to tell all.

As I stuck my leg into them, I was nervous again. But as I slipped them on......I felt a difference. My legs went in easier. And buttoning was much less of a chore. I felt like on this warmer winter day, I was going to be able to take my jacket off and be okay with it! And they just felt good.

Don't get me wrong. They are still not loose or falling off my hips yet, by any means. But the way those ski pants fit showed me my first real tangible evidence of progress. It will be two more weeks until I get them back on again, and next time I won't be nervous. I'll have happy butterflies as I make a giant leap into them.

For now,
That's one small step for man....