Sunday, December 31, 2006

Newsletter, week of December 31st

Last Week

Everything we needed to know we learned from the story of Noah's Ark. First and foremost, remember that we're all in the same boat!

This Week

Losing weight is not a quick fix. It requires ongoing self-discovery and making gradual changes that you can continue for a lifetime. We'll talk more about that and how to achieve it in this week's meeting.


Rosie has lost 20 pounds, which means she met the year-end goal she wrote on her postcard! She was quite happy.

Thanks to all of you who came to a different meeting because of our holiday schedule. It was great to see so many familiar faces when I subbed different meetings.

WW Product of the Week

New electronic food scale - our newly designed food scale will not only weigh your food to ensure proper portion sizes, but it's got a Points database. That means it will tell you the Points value of what's on the scale! If you're sloppy about serving sizes and want to fix that, check this gadget out. $40.00

Non-WW Product of the Week

If you feel like you're stuck in a rut at mealtime, and you've already looked at our cookbooks in the meeting room, you might want to check out Cooking Light magazine. I just got the January/February issue yesterday, and as usual the recipes look divine! Each recipe gives complete nutrition information, so it's easy to figure out Points values.

Check them out on the web.

Recipe of the Week

South-of-the-Border Fruit Salad
Serves 6
1 Point and Core

1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 mango, pitted, peeled, and chopped
1 small grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1/2 pint raspberries
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt

Heat a small pan over low heat, and toast the cumin seeds. Shake the pan often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let them cool for about 5 minutes.

Combine the fruit in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and gently toss to coat.

-- from Simply Bueno cookbook

Tip of the Week

Be wary of negative language. It can sabotage your best efforts. When you say "I'll try," it leaves room for error. Say "I will" instead. When you say something is "off-limits" it might make you crave the "forbidden" food more. When you say that you've "cheated" it implies that you're out of control. (For more examples and ways to get out of this kind of thinking, check out the Jan/Feb issue of Weight Watchers magazine.)

Quote of the Week

"Goals are...absolutely necessary to motivate us." -- Robert H. Schuller

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Newsletter, week of December 24th

Follow Up On Last Week's Topic

We shared some tips on grocery shopping and food preparation. It sounds like the #1 rule is "Don't shop hungry!"

This Week's Topic

Join us to find out how the story of Noah's Ark provides us with some fun weight-loss wisdom.


Rosie earned her 15 pound award and has lost 16.6 pounds!

Darelynn reached 20.2 pounds of weight loss!

Kathy received a round of applause for reaching 45.6 pounds gone!

Fabulous job, ladies.

WW Product of the Week

We have new products! Check out the new Sweet & Salty Just 2 Points bars - I hear they taste like a Payday candy bar. If you're not a peanut fan, maybe you'll like the new Everything Pretzel Crisps. Both are $4.50.

Note: These new products mean that something old has to go. If you're a fan of the Peanut Caramel Just 2 Points bars or the original pretzel snacks, stock up while supplies last!

Non-WW Product of the Week

If you generally listen to music while you work out, but are getting tired of your current playlist, consider audiobooks or other spoken word stories. iTunes has a great selection of them. For shorter stories, my personal recommendation is the radio show This American Life, which is available for download on Exercise your mind AND your body!

Recipe of the Week

This is a recipe from an old week 3 handout. I'm including it today because I'm serving it for my Christmas Eve dinner. (I'm saving our Points for the desserts, don'tcha know!)

Speedy Shepherd's Pie

Serves 4
7 Points

12 ounces extra-lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup each sliced baby carrots and frozen baby peas
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
2 cups prepared instant potato flakes (prepared according to package directions)
Dash paprika

Preheat oven to 375. In a skillet cook beef over medium heat, breaking up meat, 3-4 minutes, until no longer pink. Add onion; cook, stirring constantly, until onion is softened, 2-3 minutes. Add carrots and peas; continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Transfer mixture to a casserole dish. Top mixture with prepared potato flakes, spreading and fluffing with a fork; sprinkle with paprika. Bake until heated through, 15-20 minutes.

Tip of the Week

If you bite it, you write it! If you're following the Flex plan, tracking is a huge key to success. Tracking meals is easy, but what about those little things? Cream in your coffee, nibbles of things throughout the day, that piece of candy you grabbed from the candy dish (sshh, we won't tell!). Even if you don't think they'd contribute Points to your day, write them down. If you start to see several of them, maybe they DO contribute Points. But you'll never know unless you become mindful of them.

Quote of the Week

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."--Aristotle

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Newsletter, week of December 17th

Follow Up on Last Week's Topic

I hope you had time to delve into the new materials you received last week. Have you tried the new enhancements yet? I can't wait to hear what you think.

This Week's Topic

Food shopping and food handling - we'll talk about some tips for grocery shopping and food preparation that make life easier and ensure you don't overeat.


Monday night we did some great celebrating. Hats off to the following members:

Barbara reached her ten percent goal. What's next, Barbara?

Laketa has lost 35 pounds, and boy is she smiling!

Janet is our newest Lifetime member! She not only beat her initial plan of losing 20 pounds, but ended up shedding 28.2 of them. What a role model!

WW Product of the Week

You can do some of your grocery shopping in the meeting room. Check out our baked snacks, which include Cheddar Twists, Pretzels and Honey Mustard Pretzels. All come in pre-portioned 2 Point bags for easy snacking. $4.50 per box.

Non-WW product of the week

Here is a terrific lunch idea from one of our Wednesday members:

Grilled Vegetable Boca Burgers: 80 Calories, 1g fat, 4g fiber. I place the burger into a skillet that's been Pammed and use a bit of olive oil. I then use 1 slice (cut in half) of Milton's whole wheat bread (made by Milton's Del Mar bakery and sold in Ralph's and Von's). I then put La Victoria salsa on each piece of the bread, place the Boca Burger on that, add 1 slice of red onion and 1 slice of plum tomato. This makes for a very low point value lunch or dinner and is really great for vegetarians as well.

Important note on these Boca Burgers: Other flavors have LOTS more points so stick with the Grilled Vegetable ones. You can find these in the frozen food case at the supermarkets.

More Boca information

Got a product you love? Tell me about it so I can include it in future newsletters.

Recipe of the Week

Curried Parsnip Soup
Makes 6 servings

1 Point and Core

6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 lb. parnsips, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
2 Tbsp shopped fresh chives or scallions

Combine the broth, parsnips, onion, and curry powder in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 25 minutes or until parnsips are very tender. Cool for 5 minutes.

Puree soup in a blender (or by using an immersion blender right in the saucepan). Return the soup to a simmer until it's heated through. Sprinkle with the chives or scallions and serve.

--from our new My Turnaround Program cookbook ($13)

Tip of the week

Think you're not doing too well holding back during the holidays? Try this interesting exercise: track everything you DON'T eat. You know, those candies, extra servings or additional treats that you might have indulged in last year. I bet you'll see that you really are eating better than you used to.

Quote of the Week

"At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely." --W. Somerset Maugham

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Newsletter, week of December 10th

Follow Up on Last Week's Topic

Remember all those tips you got for dealing with parties, eating on the go, and not wanting to cook dinner. Have you put any of them to use yet?

This Week's Topic

New Program Update! All attendees this week will receive a new Week #1 booklet, and we’ll discuss what changes have been made. Make sure you get yours!

KUDOS: (from the Greek: acclaim or prestige resulting from notable achievement)

Candi reached 16 pounds of weight loss Wednesday morning. Good going!

WW Product of the Week

New program updates mean some new materials! Check out our brand new Starter Kit ($25), which contains revised food companions and updated 3 month journals. Check out the product wall while you’re in line!

Non-WW product of the week

Flavored diet seltzers – need the hydration but can’t stand plain water? Check out your grocery store, Target or Wal-Mart for these guys. Typically they come in 1 Liter plastic bottles, and have fruit flavors like mixed berry, white grape or peach. But make sure you get the diet, or be sure to figure out the Points value!

Got a product you love? Tell me about it so I can include it in future newsletters.

Recipe of the Week

Chicken Roasted Over Squash
Makes 8 servings

5 Points and Core

1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½ inch pieces
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 (4 lb) chicken, split in half and skinned
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 3 min. Add the squash; cook, stirring frequently, about 4 min. Stir in the thyme, salt, and ground pepper, then mound the mixture in the center of a 9x13 baking pan.

Place the two halves of the chicken, like a tent, over the vegetables in the pan, making sure that all the vegetables are covered.

Stir together the mustard and applesauce in a small bowl until smooth; brush over the chicken. Bake the chicken until golden and until thigh registers 180 degrees, about 1 hour. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let stand 10 min before carving. Serve with vegetables.

--Cover recipe of our new My Turnaround Program cookbook ($13)

Tip of the week

Watch out for times when you feel guilty for overeating. Just because you slipped up at lunch isn't license to overindulge all day. Remember: One meal is one meal. One day is one day.

Quote of the Week

“Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.” Elisa Schiaparelli

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Newsletter, week of December 3rd

Follow Up On Last Week’s Topic

When things get busy, it’s easy to start neglecting yourselves. Make sure to carve out some time when YOU are the number one priority.

This Week’s Topic

It’s tip exchange time! Topics will include eating well at the office, at home, on the go and at parties.

KUDOS: (from the Greek: acclaim or prestige resulting from notable achievement)

A lot of you had big Thanksgiving plans. And many of you elected to face the music and weigh in right after it. You’ve survived one holiday, now on to the next!

WW Product of the week

Weight Watchers Cookbooks - need a recipe for that office potluck? How about a dinner the whole family can enjoy? Our cookbooks can help you stay on program and eat great tasting food. Prices vary, selection varies, but many are on sale 2 for $20 right now. Makes a great gift!

Non-WW product of the week

Wednesday member Lynn shares the following:

At Trader Joe's you can get the "High Fiber" Cereal for $1.99 a box. 2/3 cup = 90 calories, 0.5 fat gram, and 9 grams of fiber. It's really yummy and lots cheaper than Fiber One at the regular supermarkets that is in the $5 range per box.

Got a product you love? Tell me about it so I can include it in future newsletters.

Recipe of the Week

Overnight Scrambled Egg Bake
Makes 8 servings
7 Points

16 oz fat-free egg substitute
12 oz fat-free evaporated milk
6 slices white or potato bread
6 oz extra-lean ham, cubed
1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese

Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Beat eggs well and add milk. Place bread on bottom of baking pan. Toss ham and cheese over bread. Pour egg mixture over top. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Bake covered egg mixture at 350°F for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Cut into 8 portions and serve.


Tip of the week

Do Sweat the Small Stuff: "Making small changes one at a time is a great strategy," agrees Howard Rankin, PhD, a South Carolina psychologist. "It's not overwhelming, and it results in a slower, steadier weight loss." Think of it this way, maybe cutting the cream out of your coffee seems like a small feat to you. But once you've got that down you can add another small feat, then another.

Quote of the week

Today, a weight loss haiku about exercise:

Mirrors everywhere –
I am inspired to lose weight.
Or hide in the back.