Friday, September 26, 2008

Newsletter, week of September 28th

Last Week

Music can be a great way to set the mood. If you're looking to get more active, have some fun and listen to some tunes!

This Week

Learning from experience is a truly helpful habit for weight loss. Instead of feeling like you've failed, try thinking of it as feedback for what NOT to do next time!


Sophia received her first 5 pound star, Kecia and Maria both celebrated 15 pounds lost, and Dan got his 25 pound awards. Great job!

Here's an update after 3 weeks of Lose for Good:

Lemon Grove Monday 6:30pm

week 1: 41.8 pounds lost
week 2: 46.0 pounds lost
week 3: 34.4 pounds lost

Clairemont Wednesday 6:30am

week 1: 16.8 pounds lost
week 2: 35.0 pounds lost
week 3: 24.0 pounds lost

WW Product of the Week

Have you noticed our new side dishes? We've got Zesty Spanish Rice, Chicken & Herb Flavored Pasta, and Tomato Parmesan Pasta. All are quick to prepare and low in Points, and the rice is even Core! You can use them as a side dish, or add some meat and/or veggies and get a full meal out of them. Just 3 bucks a box!

Weekly Potpourri

My "other job" has a wellness program that sends out daily tips. Today's was so great I'm shamelessly stealing it. Thanks, Sonic Boom!

We spend the majority of our waking hours at work, so why not make our work spaces inspiring and motivating?

Your health challenge is to add or subtract 1 thing from your work area that will motivate you to become healthier. First, step back and look at your work area. What emotions does it evoke? Is it sterile, cluttered, boring? Since you live where you work, your work area should be focused, peaceful, and motivating. Here are some examples of things you can do:

Subtractions: Get rid of the clutter. It's difficult to feel centered when you're surrounded by unfinished tasks that constantly remind you of what you haven't done yet. Ideally, the only papers on your desk should be directly related to the current task at hand.

Additions: Try putting a fresh, red apple on your desk each morning. Try adding a small plant to your desk. Adding a vibrant, living plant can freshen up any work space. To personalize your space and keep yourself motivated, display a photo of yourself doing something that you love doing, perhaps in a moment of triumph. Next, add something inspirational to you and you alone. Think of an object that you can put in a drawer or discreetly display on your desk that will keep you motivated (e.g. a trophy, plaque, inspirational quote, motivational poster, your "before" photo, or memento that means something special to you.).

Note - that last thing sounds awfully like an anchor, doesn't it? See, we DO know what we're talking about!

What's Hot at

Not getting enough sleep? It could impact your weight loss. Here is some information, as well as some tips on what to do when you're just plain sleepy.

Quote of the Week

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal." - Hanna More

Weekly Recipe: Quick Chicken Cacciatore

Quick Chicken Cacciatore
Serves 4
6 Points value

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 medium zucchini, sliced
1 small onion, cut into large pieces
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp fennel seed, lightly crushed
1 Tbsp water
2 cloves of garlic pressed or minced
14oz can diced tomatoes
8oz can tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, mix the spices with the water and set aside. This helps the spice flavors to develop and blend and it's the secret to the great flavor of this dish. Wash and pat dry the chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp of the oil. When hot, add the chicken breasts. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until nicely browned. Remove to a plate.

Adding the remaining 1-2 Tbsp of oil as needed, quickly brown the vegetables; in batches if necessary. Keep the pan hot; the object is to brown the chicken and vegetables without cooking them all the way through.

Mix together the spice mix with the garlic, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Pour half of the tomato mixture into a sprayed 9x13 pan. Pour the vegetables over the sauce, place the chicken on top of the vegetables and pour the remaining sauce over the chicken. Cover and bake about 35 minutes.

Thanks to Marianne for providing this week's recipe!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Newsletter, week of September 21st

Last Week

Don't get caught in a downward spiral of negativity. All-or-nothing thinking, self-fulfilling prophecies, all that stuff can be turned around by realizing you have a choice in all of this. Stay positive!

This Week

A good song can really get you moving. Whether it's out on the dance floor or just walking down the street, the right tune can get you on your way to moving more.


This week we celebrated a five pound star for Paul, a 10 pound star for both Lora and Raquel, and Joyce and Candace both reached 30 pounds lost. We also had a strong collection of ladies who received their week 2 bookmarks and are on their way to great success.

Speaking of success, here's where we stand after two weeks of Losing for Good:

Lemon Grove Monday 6:30pm

week 1: 41.8 pounds lost
week 2: 46.0 pounds lost

Clairemont Wednesday 6:30am

week 1: 16.8 pounds lost
week 2: 35.0 pounds lost

WW Product of the Week

Weight Watchers Oatmeal - as we leave summer and head into fall, you might think about a warm start to your day. Our oatmeal cups are a great way to have a low-Point (and Core) breakfast. They are portable and quick to make, and you've got your choice of Maple Brown Sugar (my personal favorite) and Strawberries and Cream.

Weekly Potpourri

As part of our quest to Move More, some of us are starting to sign up for athletic events. And sometimes those events can have bigger benefits. While we help ourselves, we help others. Amber and Dan in our Wednesday group are signed up for the 3 Day Walk for Breast Cancer. Amber lost her mother to pancreatic cancer, and her stepmother is a breast cancer survivor. Amber says "I believe that cancer is cancer is cancer. By helping Susan G. Komen for the Cure, research of all forms of cancer will be benefited by the research that comes from your donation to this walk. Thinking in the idea of '6 Degrees of Separation' we are all connected to cancer in some way by someone in fewer than 6 steps." You can follow that link to find out more information about her team, or the event in general. There's still time to train guys! Think of how many Activity Points you'd earn.

What's Hot at

Speaking of exercise, if you've just started moving, and haven't seen results at the scale, take heart! Focus on long-term results...they'll show up, I promise!

Quote of the Week

"I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance, never settle for the path of least resistance, and when you get the chance to sit it out or dance...I hope you dance." - sung by Lee Ann Womack (composed by Mark Sanders and Tia Sillers)

Weekly Recipe: Apple Pie for Breakfast

This recipe uses our newest Smoothie - Vanilla Chai

Apple Pie for Breakfast
2 Servings Note: this used to say 1 Serving - I apologize for the error!
4 Points and Core

1/2 cup quick oats
1 packet Vanilla Chai Smoothie Mix
1 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp Splenda
2 small apples or 1 med apple, peeled, cored, diced

Combine all in a tall microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 2-3 minutes.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Newsletter, week of September 14th

Last Week

Zero plus zero is not always zero! Keep an eye on portion sizes in general, but especially those zero Point foods. If you're not pleased with your rate of weight loss, that's an area to target.

This Week

Do you need a pep talk? You can always get one from me at a meeting, but you can do it yourself anytime you need one. We'll help you get your brain in gear for that.


Jeane received her first 5 pound star, Sabrina reached 10 pounds lost, Dan got to 15 pounds, and Joyce reached 30 pounds lost. And on Wednesday morning, we celebrated the fact that Trixi got to her goal with a total weight loss of 42.5 pounds! Awesome job.

WW Product of the Week

Weight Watchers snack bars - have you tried our newest Fruity Nutty Madness bar? It's a great trail mix type snack that only costs you 2 Points. How about our Peanut Butter Bliss? Never tried it? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!? This is (in my humble opinion) the best bar we've ever had, and you only need to spend 1 Point!

Weekly Potpourri

I know many of us like to EAT cake, so maybe you're like me and you like to SEE cake, too. Well, the folks over at Cake Wrecks bring you the best of the worst in cake art. This is a hilarious, sometimes PG-13, blog that cracks me up AND makes me drool (I'm not sure how they do that!). Make sure you scroll down and check out the cake head. Diet aid, indeed.

What's Hot at

If you are waiting for the scale to budge, you might be interested in hearing what a personal trainer has to say to help you get the scale moving again. He's going to help you outsmart that fat!

Quote of the Week

"Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results." - Willie Nelson

Weekly Recipe: Baked Eggplant Parmigiana

Baked Eggplant Parmigiana
Serves 6
5 Points value

5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup seasoned dried bread crumbs
1 (1 1/2 lb) eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 (14oz) jar low-fat tomato basil pasta sauce
2 cups shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine flour, oregano and pepper in a wide, shallow bowl or pie plate. Beat the eggs in another wide, shallow bowl, and put the bread crumbs in a third bowl.

Coat the eggplant with flour (one slice at a time). Then dip it into the egg to coat, and dredge it in the bread crumbs. Place the slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and lightly spray the slices with nonstick spray. Bake 10 minutes; turn and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes more; set aside to cool slightly.

Spread 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce over the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Arrange the eggplant slices on top,in an overlapping layer. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the cheeses. Bake until the cheese melts, 12-14 minutes.

Per serving: 279 cal, 6g fat (2g sat fat), 5g fiber, 1,065mg sodium

Friday, September 05, 2008

Newsletter, week of September 7th

Last Week

Lose for Good! Reflect on what you've gained, let it inspire you to keep on losing, and help people in the process.

This Week

If a food has a Points value of 0, can I eat all I want? We'll discuss this and other portion-size issues.

Monday Group: we still need to celebrate your "By Labor Day Goals" - be ready to share with the group what you have achieved!


We gave a 10 pound star to Dan, and a 40 pound star to Trixie. Summer might be technically over, but clearly your efforts aren't!

WW Product of the Week

Basic and Deluxe Member Kits - among other things, these kits both contain the Complete Food Companion and Dining Out Companion. Carrying a huge database of Points values with you at all times means you never have to wonder. Many of you look up values online, but these are perfect for when you're on the go and not at your computer!

Weekly Potpourri

Today (September 5th) is National Cheese Pizza Day. Whether it's a frozen Smart One, a homemade pie on flatbread, or a single slice from your favorite restaurant, enjoy! Just remember, one serving is NOT the whole pizza. But you knew that, right?

What's Hot at

How fit are you? I know some of you are really super active, so it might be fun to take this Full-Body Fitness Test to see how you stack up!

Quote of the Week

"You have to 'Be' before you can 'Do' and 'Do' before you can 'Have'." - Zig Ziglar

Weekly Recipe: Chicken Rolls with Tomato Compote

Chicken Rolls with Tomato Compote
Serves 4
4 Points value

6oz bag baby spinach
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2oz reduced-fat black pepper goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), chopped
4 3oz chicken cutlets
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add half the spinach and cook, stirring constantly, just until wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander. Repeat with remaining spinach. Let cool and then squeeze dry.

To make the compote, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the grape tomatoes and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and set aside.

Mix the cheese and sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Place the cutlets on a sheet of plastic wrap with the wide ends facing you. Working with 1 cutlet at a time, place 1/4 of the spinach in a line down the center of the cutlet, leaving a 3/4 inch border along the long sides; place 1/4 the cheese mixture at the wide end near you. Starting at the wide end, roll up and secure with a toothpick. Repeat to make 4 rolls.

Spray a medium nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the rolls and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 5-6 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, turning occasionally, until the rolls are cooked through, about 7 minutes. Transfer the rolls with a slotted spoon to a cutting board; cover loosely with foil and keep warm.

Bring the pan juices to a boil and cook until reduced to 3 Tbsp, about 1 minute. Stir in the reserved tomato compote; reduce the heat and cook until heated through.

To serve, remove the toothpicks from the rolls and cut each roll into 3 slices. Serve topped with the compote.

196 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 3g fiber, 452mg sodium

-- from Weight Watchers Magazine, Sep/Oct 2008