Monday, February 28, 2011

Ever Have One of Those Days

Monday.  It was true to its word.  It wasn't one of my better days.  The only good thing about today was our Monday night WW meeting at 5:30 in Concord.  We had a great turnout.  Five new enrollments!  Now if they had been reading this blog, and mentioned it, they would have received a free gift.

I must admit that I am a bit unmotivated right now.  It is so tough trying to cook and eat healthy when you are the only member in the household who wants to participate.  My Oscar Night menu was consumed only by me.  A Turkey/Chicken "meatloaf" all ten servings for me.  Even the No bake cheesecake...

It hurts my feelings, making all this food just for me.  Oh well.  Unfortunately, I can't even muster up enough energy to find a great recipe to post for everyone tonight.  So I am taking recipe ideas from anyone who would like to send one to me.

Signing off...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Great Gadgets

Little did I know how much time I would spend in the kitchen when I decided to start this blog.  Today I want to write about great gadget finds for the kitchen.

Since Sunday is Target day, after we finished shopping at Target, the hubby and I decided to go to Marshalls.  While I was looking for pretty plates to display my food, I discovered a Kitchen Aid "egg slicer".  However, I didn't want to slice eggs, it was strawberries that I wanted to slice.  And guess what?  It works. It really works! 

Let me know what some of your great kitchen gadgets finds you have discovered.

Also, tip of the day, when measuring honey, spray non stick spray on your spoon, or measuring cup, for the honey to slip right off the spoon our out of the cup.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Wow!  Today's meeting was awesome.  Over 45 people attended.  That's over 10 more than last week's meeting.  The line was out the door.  I love it. Our leader is awesome.  I handed out my Fresh Apple Salsa recipe to everyone.  I hope they all go home and give it a try.

The hubby decided to go hit a bucket of balls at the golf course and I was trying to figure out what recipe I can include in today's post.  So while he was out...

This recipe came right out of my Ultimate 3 Month Tracker.  I love my tracker.  If you don't have one, go out and get one.  I bookmark the weeks that I did well, so I can see what I ate, and try to repeat it to stay on track.

You only use 2 ingredients.  Now that's what I call EASY!.

Cherry Squares 2 PointsPlus per serving

1 package of Angel Food Cake
1 20 oz can of lite cherry pie filling

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Combine cake mix and the pie filling.  DO NOT ADD ANY OTHER INGREDIENTS.
Pour batter into an ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish, bake for 30 minutes.  Cool and cut into 24 squares. Enjoy!

Oh my goodness.  This was delicious.  I want this to be my next birthday cake.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lazy Friday

Today, I just felt plain old lazy.  I was working from home, but had no motivation whatsoever.  It was pouring rain and I was so cold I didn't want to do much of anything.  I didn't even get on the Wii fit today.

So I took the easy way out and for lunch I reveled in a nice warm cup of

TJ's Creamy Corn and Roasted Pepper Soup 1 cup is 3 PointsPlus

I added fresh cilantro and some crushed red pepper!

I went out to get today's mail and a Netflix movie was waiting to be opened.  So tonight, the hubby and I will be watching The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest.  The last in the trilogy series.  I can't wait.

But what to eat for dinner tonight remains to be seen.  I did not plan anything....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What will You Serve..

Since the Oscar's will be airing this Sunday, I thought I would give you some great suggestions of  food to serve for your Oscar party.  Even if you are not hosting a party or going to a party you can still serve this to you and or your family.  I will be making these on Sunday and will post pictures later.

Cucumber "Sandwiches" 0 PointsPlus
1 cucumber sliced
Salt and pepper
Fage Greek yogurt (1 cup equals 3 PointsPlus)
Sliced roasted red peppers

Salt and pepper your cucumber slices, put a 1/2 teaspoon of yogurt on each cucumber and top with a slice of roasted red pepper. 

You would basically have to consume 96 slices to equal 1 cup of yogurt.

Baby Spinach with sliced Strawberries and toasted Almond Slices 2 PointsPlus

1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 cup sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons TJ's low fat Parmesan Ranch Dressing

Veggie Medley 1 PointsPlus
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 small zucchini cut into bite size pieces
1 red onion, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
pepper to taste
dried basil to taste

Saute peppers and zucchini until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Meanwhile, saute the onion, garlic, and seasonings in the vinegar.  Stir the cooked veggies into the vinegar mixture until thoroughly coated.

Turkey and Chicken Meatloaf 7 PointsPlus per serving (yields 10 servings)

1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground chicken
3 eggs
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 medium onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
non-stick spray

Preheat over to 350.  Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.  Use a large loaf pan  that's been sprayed with non-stick spray.. Bake for about a hour.

No Bake Cheese Cake  2PointsPlus per serving (yields 20 servings)

Low fat graham crackers
8 oz. fat free cream cheese (softened)
1 cup cold skim milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small box instant vanilla pudding (sugar free)
 8 oz. fat free Cool Whip
1 can lite cherry pie filling (or any flavor)

Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with whole graham crackers. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add milk and lemon juice to the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Stir in pudding mix, then fold in Cool Whip. Spread 1/2 of cream cheese mixture over graham crackers. Repeat with another layer of graham crackers and cream cheese mixture. Spread pie filling over top. Refrigerate overnight for graham crackers to soften.

In the end, if you have one serving of each recipe listed, your total PointsPlus will be 12.

Which movie do you think will win Best Picture? Black Swan, 127 Hours, Social Network, The Kings Speech?

I haven't seen any of these movies, so your guess is as good as mine! :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Two New Recipes

I was busy in the kitchen.  Today, I tried out two new recipes. 

For lunch I whipped up a Grilled Mahi Mahi Burger (8 PointsPlus)

I broiled one TJ's mahi mahi burger, 4 PointsPlus, toasted one English muffin , 3 PointsPlus and topped it with 2 tablespoons of Guacamole Hummus, 1 PointsPlus, 1 tablespoon dijonnaise, purple onion, lettuce, all 0 PointsPlus, for a total of  8 PointsPlus.  What are some condiments you would add to this delicious burger?

For Dinner I created my version of Chicken Tortilla Soup (1 1/2 cups for 4 PointsPlus)

4 cups chicken broth (low-sodium preferred)
1 container of TJ's Pico de Gallo
2 cups fresh spinach
8 ounces of chopped cooked chicken breasts
TJ's Light Mexican Blend
1 La Tortilla Factory corn tortilla (I heated it to get it crispy then cut into strips)

Bring broth and pico degallo to a boil.  Add the fresh spinach and cooked chicken.  Cover and simmer. To spice it up a bit add some cilantro and a chopped, rinsed and seeded jalepeno

Add 1 tablespoon of the shredded cheese and 1 tablespoon corn tortilla strips to your bowl for a total of 4 PointsPlus

Try one of my recipes and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dining Out

We all love to go out to eat.  One of my favorite lunch spots is Panda Express.  In order to me to keep my PointPlus value for lunch at 12 PointsPlus, I choose:

String Bean chicken breast 5 PointsPlus
Pot stickers 6 PointsPlus
Veggies 1 PointsPlus (for the oil used)

I absolutely love pot stickers, so I substitute the chow mien for the pot stickers.  You can choose chow mien as one of your entrees, but ONLY if you choose 1/2 chow mien and 1/2 veggies for a total of 6 PointsPlus.

Periodically, I will include other dining out choices.  Tell me some of your favorite dining out choices and tell me why.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Five Fab Finds

Part of the reason people hate the word “diet” is because it holds a stigma to it.  Everyone thinks the food is bland.  Well it can be, but you have to know how to spice it up, without adding any fat.  Here are Five of my Fab Finds…

Condiments or sauces with little or no PointsPlus value

  • TJ’s Pico de Gallo.  A 0 PointsPlus value. 

  • Best Foods Dijonnaise – 2 tablespoons is 0 PointsPlus.  Use this for your egg salad sandwich instead of mayonnaise

  • TJ’s Guacamole Hummus – 2 tablespoons is 1 PointsPlus – This was great on top of my turkey burger. 
  • TJ’s Low fat Parmesan Ranch Dressing – 2 tablespoons 1 PointsPlus.  Yes you can put it on your salads, but try it on top of your turkey burger, or mixed with shredded lettuce for your tacos

  • Litehouse Sesame Ginger Salad Dressing – 2 tablespoons is 1 PointsPlus – Again, it doesn’t have to be limited to dressing your salad.  Heat it up and dip your TJ’s lowfat battered shrimp in it. 6 shrimp is 5 PointPlus.  Serve your battered shrimp with seasonal veggies or add one cup of steamed rice (white or brown) for and additional 4 PointsPlus

    • I have an honorable mention to this list and that is Fage non-fat Greek Yogurt – 1 cup is 3 PointsPlus - so versatile, the combinations are endless.  Use in your tuna salad, make your coleslaw with it, just to name a few.

      Let me know what your fab finds are.

      Sunday, February 20, 2011

      Sunday - Funday

      Happy Sunday – Funday!

      Sundays, the only day I can truly sleep in and I still manage to get up before 8:30 a.m.  Sunday means “hair-day, “read the newspaper day, sip a cup a tea day” for me.  It also means a trip to Target with my hubby. 

      Ah traditions. We got in the car heading towards Target when we both realized, we really needed to go to Safeway instead.  As we were driving, somehow we got onto the subject of coleslaw and the hubby said the only slaw he has ever liked is from KFC.  That got me thinking, I should try to make my own.

      I came across this Sweet and Spicy Slaw recipe and decided to give it a try.

      1 package of coleslaw
      ¼ cup chopped red onion
      2/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt
      ¼ cup honey
      2 tablespoons cider vinegar
      2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño pepper, rinsed and seeded.
      Combine the slaw and onion. Set aside.

      Stir together the yogurt, honey, vinegar and jalapeño.  Pour over slaw.  Season with salt and pepper.  Chill and serve. 1 cup serving is 2 PointsPlus (this recipe makes 6 servings)

       My hubby absolutely loved my fresh apple salsa, and asked me to make another batch for him today.  He is a “sweet” guy and not a “spicy” kind of guy.  So he asked that I eliminate the cilantro and jalapeño from the recipe.  I think not!  But I did set aside a small batch without those key ingredients.

      So that was my Sunday-Funday!

      Until tomorrow….

      Saturday, February 19, 2011

      The recipe find of the day....

      Good Afternoon people.

      I wanted to mention that this morning’s WW meeting was a success.  There were about 35 people today. 

      As I sit in the back completing my tally, I just love hearing our members share their successes with the group, as well as listen to those who are trying to discover what is going to work best for them.  Our leader really gets our members involved.

      Remember, if you come to one of my meetings, and enroll, you will receive a free gift, but you must mention my blog.

      • Saturday mornings 8:45 a.m. Pleasant Hill YMCA or
      • Monday evenings 5:30 p.m. Concord and Park and Shop

      This is my recipe find of the day…. I absolutely love the sweet and spicy taste.

      Fresh Apple Salsa

      This sweet-tart condiment uses crisp granny smith apples,. Serve with pork tenderloin or roast chicken.  Or, if you are like me, I had a bowl of it, like I would a dessert.  You can also serve with pita chips.  The best part of this recipe is the entire recipe is valued at only 2 Points Plus.  That’s right, the whole recipe, which yields about 3 cups.

      ·        2 cups  diced peeled Spartan apple (about 3/4 pound)
      ·        1/2  cup  diced red bell pepper
      ·        1/3  cup  fresh lime juice
      ·        1/4  cup  diced red onion
      ·        1/4  cup  minced fresh cilantro
      ·        1 tablespoon  honey
      ·        1/4  teaspoon  salt
      ·        1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
      ·        jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

      Combine all ingredients, stirring well – Enjoy!  Please let me know what you think about my blog and my recipes.  I look forward to hearing from all of you.

      Friday, February 18, 2011

      Going Green

      The color of the day is green.  Greens are a great power food.  I would like to share with you some ways to make green your favorite color.

      First, I want to mention that a lot of us lead busy lives and fast-food is an easy way to get food when you are on the run.

      If you have to visit a fast food restaurant, there are definitely some great choices.    Weight Watchers has a great article called The Fast Food Survival Guide.  It contains some excellent alternatives when visiting fast food restaurants.

      A great twist on traditional tuna salad

      12 oz albacore tuna, 1 cup corn, a can of navy beans, drained and rinsed, jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped, lemon juice, salt to taste. Mix with ½ cup Greek Yogurt instead of mayo.  Serve on top of a spring salad mix.  4 Points Plus

      Green doesn’t always mean having a salad.

      Cook your favorite fish and serve with this version of “creamed” spinach.

      Canola oil about 1 teaspoon
      Baby spinach
      Scallions thinly sliced
      Shallots chopped
      Salt and pepper to taste
      Light cream cheese about 2 oz.

      Heat the pan then add the oil. Saute the shallots and scallions.  Toss in your spinach until it wilts.  Remove it from the heat and add your cream cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  ½ cup serving is 2 points plus

      So so out there and "green" your day.

      Thursday, February 17, 2011

      These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

      Today I started thinking about some of my favorite food finds that I like to keep stocked  at all times. I thought I would list some of my favorite must haves for my kitchen.

      • Lucerne brand light vanilla yogurt 6 oz, 2points plus.  I add fresh berries and 1 tablespoon Special K low fat granola, 1 points plus.  I get a 3 points plus breakfast at my desk. I usually have this when I go into the office, because it’s easier than making that “scrambled” egg.

      • Eggs - one egg is 2 points plus and a great protein choice to start off your day. I actually take an egg, salt, pepper and a dash of water, whisk it good and throw it I the microwave for about 45 seconds. YUM.

      • Trader Joe’s Crispy Chicken Tenders – You can find them in the frozen food section.  Each tender is 3 points plus.  They are delicious.

      • KuerigCafe Express Mocha 1 points plus.  I love it after my “scrambled” egg.  I actually take an egg, salt, pepper and a dash of water whisk it good and throw it I the microwave for about 45 seconds.

      • Nature Valley Granola Thins  2 points plus each  I love this snack with a cup of Celestial Seasonings Spice Indian Chi 0 points plus

    • Weight Watchers or  Laughing Cow 1 wedge is 1 points plus.  I top a turkey burger with Parmesan peppercorn.

      ground turkey patty (4 points plus), shredded cabbage, 1 tablespoon TJ low fat Parmesan ranch dressing .5 points plus), 1 tablespoon guacamole .5 points plus), 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce (1 points plus),  and 1 wedge of laughing cow Parmesan peppercorn cheese (1 points plus), 12 tater tots (4 points plus) total of 11 points plus

      Enjoy these great food finds as much as me.  Let me know what you think.

      Wednesday, February 16, 2011

      Carry on ...Kitchen Remodel Continues

      As I was cleaning the pantry for my own healthy shelf, I was laughing out loud at some of the interesting things lurking behind that closed door.  I cleared out all three shelves and then re-stocked them.  I threw away lots of junk, that even the junk food junkies in my house wouldn't eat. 

      I have so many cook books with only a few recipes I like in each book.  I came across @Friends4WtLoss  They are giving away the Green Lite Bites Cook Book.  I hope I win it.  Check out the site.  Its awesome.

      So here it a picture of my new healthy shelf

      It's just a start, but it definitely energized me.  Don't forget to stop by on Saturday morning at the YMCA in Pleasant Hill.  Meeting start time is 8:45.  Weigh-in starts at 8:15.  If you join, you will receive a free gift.

      So, get into your kitchen and "Get er done"....

      Tuesday, February 15, 2011

      The Kitchen "Remodel"

      I mentioned this week's WW topic is about the kitchen "Remodel".   Re-make your fridge and pantry for a healthy weight management journey.

      I decided since I can't control what other family members choose to eat, I am going to dedicate one pantry shelf marked "FMO" (For Marlene Only).

      I am going to clean out one shelf and replace the contents with healthier food choices.  When I am done, I'll take a photo and post it here.

      Some items going on the FMO are:
      94% fat free popcorn, canned fruits, high fiber protein bars (for day's on the go) olive oil, tuna, just to name a few.

      Apply the same concept for the fridge and freezer too. Stock up on lots of fresh fruit and veggies, non-fat yogurt.

      Don't forget, you can find me on Monday evenings at 5:30 p.m. in Concord (Park and Shop) or on Saturday mornings at the YMCA in Pleasant Hill.  If you mention my blog and join WW, you will receive a free gift.

      Now go tackle your kitchen and set yourself up for success.

      Sunday, February 13, 2011

      On Track...or Not

      Saturday morning's Weight Watchers meeting in Pleasant Hill was awesome.  If you decide that you would like to join, come see me.  If you mention my blog, you will receive a gift.  Meeting start time is 8:45 and weigh in starts at 8:15.

      The meeting was about knowing when determine if you are really hungry.  Oftentimes, we find that we eat for other reasons than true hunger.  I know for me, when I get bored, I head to the kitchen, looking for a quick fix, to pass the time. 

      Next week we will be talking about "remodeling" your kitchen.... Come to the meeting to find out how you can remodel your kitchen for weight loss success.

      After the meeting my husband and I headed out to Wine Country, Domaine Carneros.

      I made the mistake of only eating a banana before I left, in anticipation of over indulging.  We didn't get to the castle until 1:00 p.m.  Needless to say, I was starving.  We ordered their flight of champagne (three 2oz glasses), and a meat platter, which consisted of several slices of baguette bread and a variety of deli meats, such as copa, pate, and prosciutto.  The scenery was gorgeous and the weather was absolutely perfect.  We decided to continue up north to Sonoma.  Unfortunately, at this point I was working on a headache, from the lack of healthy food choices (not from the champagne).

      It was after 3:00 when we finally sat down for a bite to eat.  My body was craving carbs and I ending up ordering pesto garlic bread sticks and linguine with clams.  I only ate about 1/4 of the clam dish, and did not ask to take the rest home.  We then walked over to the Cheese Factory for, of all things, aspirin, but added 1/4 pound of fudge to the order.  I actually split it with my husband, so about 1/8 of a pound.

      The chocolate did wonders for the headache, or was it the aspirin?

      The lesson I learned... I should have eaten a green salad, and an apple before I left the house.

      Friday, February 11, 2011

      Talk About Inspiration

      Today marks my first entry for my Healthy Weight Management Blog.  I hope you all will enjoy this one as much as my last one.

      Yesterday I watched the Oprah Show with Jennifer Hudson.  She happens to be the spokeswoman for Weight Watchers.  She joined Weight Watchers to get healthy and to learn about eating the right foods and the "fun" foods in moderation.  She actually inspired many of her family members and together they lost of 1,900 pounds.  That's almost a ton of fat.  She looks absolutely fabulous and sings from her heart.  The show was very inspiring, especially since I am a lifetime member and also happen to be a member of the Weight Watchers staff.  You can find me at the Pleasant Hill, California YMCA on Saturday mornings at 8:45, or Concord, California Park and Shop Center on Monday evenings at 5:30 p.m.  Please join me!  We can celebrate our successes on this journey to healthier eating.

      I will start you off with a great barbequed chicken salad recipe.  Total PointsPlus value per serving is 7.


      Romaine Lettuce
      Green Onions
      Heirloom tomatoes
      Trader Joe's Crispy Breaded Chicken Tenders (in the frozen food section)
      2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
      2 tablespoons Trader Joe's Low fat Parmesan Ranch Dressing

      Bake the chicken tender according to the package directions.  Heat up the BBQ sauce in the microwave.
      Coat the baked tender in BBQ sauce.  Put it on top of the prepared greens and drizzle the two tablespoons of Ranch dressing.  Yum!

      Next time I include a recipe, I will try to include a photo, since a picture paints a thousand words.