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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Birthday ... but not really

If you know me, and let's face it, if you're reading this you probably know me or know someone who knows me.  Anyway, today is my birthday.  There are two days in my life that I like to thank my parents for having sex, today is one of them.  It usually makes my dad roll his eyes and my mom just laughs.  Anyway... today is my birthday but am committed to my weight loss so I went to weigh-in (+0.6).  Then we went out for dinner.

We went out with some friends of ours to a place that we used to go to at least once a week.  I mention this because I've heard a question over and over again, 'does anyone not know why they are in WW?'  Yeah, the frequency with which we dined at this particular restaurant is certainly one of the reasons.  This place has an amazing beer menu which is why we love it.  The food menu is good, don't get me wrong, but we go for the beer.

Apparently, in the 4 months that I've been doing WW my system has gotten used to not having quite so much fat.  I had spinach-artichoke dip with pita bread as an appetizer and grilled mahi mahi with chili lime rice and asparagus as my entree.  Within an hour after finishing the meal I had visited the bathroom twice.  And the beer is still with me.  Then my husband and I have this little exchange (when we get home):

ME:  If you have to go to the bathroom twice for #2 within an hour of eating do you still have to count points?
D:  Probably only half.
ME:  Holy crap batman.
My friend (via text message as I replayed this exchange for her):  No shit.

My friends and family are hilarious.  At least I think so.
Have a great week peeps!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

MAJOR MILESTONE: 50 POUNDS!!

Last weekend we were in Wisconsin for the weekend for my husband to go hunting and for me to spend time with my Mom.  It was a busy weekend and really our first road trip since trying to lose weight.  My husband will tell you that I'm a junk food junkie.  If we stop to get gas I always want to get something to drink and a snack.  So this road trip was both a test of will and a visit home.  We really tried our best to eat healthy on the road and at home.  So you can imagine my shock when I went to weigh in, after the last two weeks of -.2 and +.4 when the scale said I lost 5.8!!

5.8 pounds??

My leader was shocked and so was I, though pleasantly of course.  Over the 20 weeks we've been doing WW I've lost 51.6 pounds.  In real things, that's like 2.5 bags of dog food.

FIFTY-ONE POINT SIX POUNDS!!!!

Seriously?
Seriously.

My birthday is in a few days and this is an awesome birthday present, I think.

Just a reminder, if you haven't read my Holiday Alternative post you might want too, it offers some healthier options to the usual Thanksgiving fare.

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving.  I'd love to hear if you come up with any new healthy Thanksgiving traditions or recipes!!  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday Alternative

In preparation for the upcoming holidays I was trying to find some weight watchers friendly recipes because when I calculated some of the points values for my family favorite recipes I was shocked.

Typical Pumpkin Pie = 9 points
Are you kidding me?  9 points???  Yikes.

So, here I offer you some alternatives in hopes they might become your new favorites.
I calculated my mom's stuffing recipe and it rings in about 3 points per serving.  This isn't really bad but a 1 point per serving recipe is so much better.  So check out a new stuffing recipe.

Instead of the butter crusted pumpkin pie, which as I said rings in at 9 points per slice see if you can get your family to try the Pumpkin Spice Muffins.  I don't think my family will accept that as an alternative but I'm making them so my husband and I can have them instead of pie.

For those who don't care for pumpkin pie, here's a new caramel apple salad recipe.  This could easily work as a side dish or a desert.  My friend, Sheri, made it last night and it was out of this world delicious.  She didn't put in the pineapple though and I think you could add either coconut or even some toasted walnuts, though that would definitely bump up your points value if you're not careful.

I haven't tried this but I think you could use some leftover turkey to make some 2 point chili.  Just to be sure to weigh the turkey if you're concerned about points value.

I also read that to safely navigate the holidays you should plan to have 2 vegetable or fruit dishes for every non vegetable/fruit dish.  Do you think your Thanksgiving table will be planned like that?

Caramel Apple Salad

Caramel Apple Salad
WW PointsPlus per serving:  2

8 oz. tub of Cool Whip FREE
1 box sugar free instant Butter Scotch Pudding mix
14 oz. can pineapple tidbits in juice
4 large Red Delicious or Fuji Apples (or more)
4 large Granny Smith Apples (or more)

Combine pudding mix and pineapple (with juice) in large bowl. Mix well and set aside. Dice apples into small pieces and combine with pudding mixture. Fold in Cool Whip FREE till well mixed. Chill and serve.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stuffing with Sage and Chives

Stuffing with Sage and Chives
WW PointsPlus per serving:  2


2 t Smart Balance Light Spread Margarine
3 English Muffins, split
5 slices Weight Watchers 100% Whole Wheat Bread
1 spray cooking spray
2 t olive oil
1 c onions, chopped
3 medium stalks celery, chopped
2 t dried thyme
2 t dried sage
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
2 c chicken broth
2 T chives
1 small apple


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Coat a 4 quart shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
Arrange bread cubes on a large ungreased baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake until lightly toasted, about 8-10 minutes.
Remove bread from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and butter together for 1-2 minutes.
Add onion, apple and celery and saute until soft, about 3 minutes.
Add thyme, salt and pepper, stir to coat.  Cook until herbs are fragrant, about 1 minute.

Transfer onion mixture to large mixing bowl.
Add bread, brother and chives.  Toss to combine.
Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish and cover with foil.
Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes more.

Yields 1 c per serving.

I think this would also be really good if you crisped up some turkey bacon OR with some additional spices such as a poultry seasoning.  If you add two slices of turkey bacon, cooked and chopped it will increase the points per serving to 2.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Travel vs. Plan

On Monday I flew out for meetings in Boston.  It was just a quick trip but one that I did fret about a little bit from a WW perspective.  I tried to plan ahead by taking some Pretzel Crisps (2 points per bag), Chocolate Pretzel Bars (1 point each), honey crisp apples and the standard Crystal Light Iced Tea with me.  Most meals were provided but I was still nervous and I had every right to be.  I've been to IBM conferences before and they are generally not very weight loss friendly.  This was no exception.  There was more fresh fruit available than normal but there are really only so many apples you can eat in a day, right?  Most of the other food served was either fried, in a cream sauce or dessert.  I had enough will power to avoid the dessert table, thank goodness for the 1 point bars! 

I did not have the will power to resist the New England Clam Chowdah however.  I had it for two different meals and I can tell you it was worth every single point.  Though I'm sure that someone is going to need to remind me of that the next time I go to weigh in, which I hope will be tomorrow.

It's really good to be home, especially because our house is really filled with lots of food that is really good for you and good for the program.  Being able to have a meal where you know the exact point value is amazingly refreshing.  I was lucky enough to have some 2 point chili left in the fridge and today was a great day for it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Asian Shrimp with Vegetables

Asian Shrimp with Vegetables
WW PointsPlus per serving:  4

This recipe is based on a recipe that was posted by Weight Watchers, however, we didn't like having so much sauce and Dan wasn't a fan of the sugar snap peas (from the original recipe) so we modified it slightly.  I think this would also be really good with broccoli florets.

2 t canola oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 t fresh ginger root, grated
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 pound shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 c chicken broth, divided
1 T low sodium soy sauce
3/4 t cornstarch
1 c asparagus
1 c bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 t brown sugar

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
Add garlic, ginger, and onion.  Cook, stirring frequently, about 1 minute.
Add bell pepper and asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
Add shrimp, cook until shrimp are almost cooked through and turn pink, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix together 1/4 c broth and cornstarch, stir well to blend.
Add remaining 1/4 c broth and soy sauce.  Stir again.

Pour broth mixture into skillet, scraping up and browned bits with a spoon. 
Stir in red pepper flakes and brown sugar. 
Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens and shrimp are completely cooked, about 2 minutes.
Yields 1 c shrimp-vegetable mixture.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Well I haven't grown

I've tried, hopefully I've been sucessful, to find some common thread or comical story to share with you about what I've learned or how my week went and today is no exception.  Two I actually have two stories to share with you.  It should also be noted that if you don't know my  husband he's kind of got that sense of humor that is pretty dead pan.  If you don't believe me I'll post the video from our wedding when the best man did an impression of him that, to this day, cracks me up every single time.  So... at least you've been warned!

 
For those who know me outside of work or school know that my daily wardrobe consists of t-shirts and either sporty pants/capris/shorts depending on the season. When I say sporty pants you know what I'm talking about they are like yoga pants but since I've never really done yoga it seems inappropriate to call them that. Now that I think about it given the purpose of this blog it seems slightly inappropriate to call the sporty pants too. Anyway...

 
At the scrapbook retreat a couple of weekends ago Sheri looked at me and said 'your pants are too big'.  I kind of knew this before she said it because the moment she said that I was currently pulling them up because they were falling down!!  Anyway, the fact that she said this was totally fine because I told her early on that she would have tell me when clothes didn't fit right because I'm a fashion catastrophe and my husband... well... he's no better.  She agreed, as true friends should, though she may have agreed a little too quickly. 

So, I ordered some new ones in varying sizes, same as I did for my jeans.

 
I put on the largest of the sporty pants I bought and showed my husband who promptly said 'those are too long'.  Which, duh, I was well aware of having stepped on the bottoms twice already. 

 
The following day, because I do not enjoy trying on clothes, I put on another pair, this time one size smaller than the day before. I was ecstatic! I said to Dan, look I've got little-er pants on to which he again promptly replied, 'those are too long'.

 
I looked at him and said, 'duh, I'm in a weight loss program not a height gain program.  I haven't gotten taller since yesterday!'

 
Anyway, I love the fact that I'm ordering smaller clothes and can fit into them.  I'm even going to send back the pants that were the bigger size.  Oh yeah, I really just said that!  Which totally gives Sheri permission to ask make fun of me until I do.
----------

 
The second thing is that I hit a milestone last night at the weigh-in. 
46 pounds
Yes, I totally get that it's funny I made the font on that BIGGER when I'm trying to make myself SMALLER!  Anyway, this is an excerpt from the meeting last night during the celebrations.

 
Leader:  And we're celebrating with Jen because she lost 46 pounds
Sheri bursts out laughing
Leader:  Why is that funny?
Sheri:  It just seems odd to celebrate 46 and not 45
Leader:  I just want to give full credit for the 46 pounds
Sheri:  Well were there ounces there because she'll want to celebrate the ounces too
Jen:  Yeah, I will
Leader:  (Laughing) No, it was 46 pounds even.

 
I thought the whole interaction was pretty funny.

 
Enjoy your week folks.