Thursday, October 30, 2008

Newsletter, week of November 2nd

Last Week

Eating satisfaction is important for the eyes and the stomach. Make sure you are jazzed about the food you eat, and you'll find it is easier to stay on plan.

This Week

Since you'll be voting for everything else, this week we'll focus on why it's important to cast a vote for yourself by taking care of YOU.


Debra and Jill received their 15 pound stars, and Kecia got her 20 pound star. Jill also reached her 10% target this week!

WW Product of the Week

Weight Watchers baked snacks - have you tried the new Garlic Parmesan pretzels yet? Those, along with our sourdough and BBQ pretzels and the cheddar twists are a great way to get your salty or crunchy fix without spending a lot of points. Treat yourself!

Weekly Potpourri

I'm about halfway through a fantastic book, What To Eat, by Marion Nestle. If you've ever been confused by food packaging and labeling, or by health research in the news, this is a great book that chips away at some of the information to reveal the truths. If you don't have time for the whole book, Nestle maintains a blog that has links to current events in the food and health world, and some of her opinions on various topics.

What's Hot at

Tired of the same old greens? Explore kale and get some tips on how to select the right bunch and what to do with it once you get it home.

Quote of the Week

"Take care of yourself! That is more important than anything else I can think of." - Robert Corey

Weekly Recipe: Sloppy Lentils

Sloppy Lentils
Serves 6
4 Points value

1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, any color, chopped
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cups water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp mustard
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Heat oil in medium size skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, stirring to coat.

Transfer onions and peppers to crock pot and add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Serve this on your hamburger bun of choice. (but don't forget to add the Points for that!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Newsletter, week of October 26th

Last Week

Emotional eating is a good intention (no really!) but it sabotages our goals. Find a non-food way to deal with what's going on in your life and the path gets much easier.

This Week

Would you like your food to look good and be satisfying? Who wouldn't? This week we'll discuss strategies to make your meals look awesome - that way you'll want to eat them instead of grabbing a Big Mac, right?


Teresita got her first 5 pound star, Amber reached 20 pounds lost, and Trina received her 30 pound star. And what a week it was for Lifetime Members - on Monday Sandee became our newest Lifetime Member, and on Wednesday it was Trixi and Libby's turns. Excellent work ladies!

WW Product of the Week

Cookbooks and our Easy Measure Serving Set - our cookbooks, which are still on sale at 50% off, are a great place to find healthy food that looks good and keeps you satisfied. Once you've whipped up a good, healthy dinner, scoop it on to your plate using our Easy Measure set. You'll know exactly how much you're serving up.

Weekly Potpourri

Halloween is just days away. Are you tempted by that bowl of candy? I found a fun little tool here that will show you how far you'll have to walk to burn off the calories of that "fun-size" candy!

What's Hot at

In honor of our new Lifetime Members this week, here is a great success story from someone who has kept her weight off for six years. She shares some of the joys and pitfalls of staying at goal.

Quote of the Week

Decide to make every eating experience a SATISFYING one, and be SATISFIED with the great results they'll help you achieve.

Weekly Recipe: Ham, Greens and Noodles

Ham, Greens and Noodles
Serves 6
5 Points value

3 1/3 cups uncooked egg noodles (about 6 ounces)
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups diced smoked ham (about 11 ounces)
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups collard greens, sliced and stems removed
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ham and cook 8 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, oregano, thyme and garlic, and cook until the vegetables are just tender, stirring frequently. Add the greens, and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar and cook another minute. Then add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 12 minutes. Stir in the noodles and pepper, and cook until heated through.

Per serving: 270 calories, 8.8g fat (2.8g sat fat), 3.5g fiber, 999mg sodium

Make it Core: Use olive oil instead of butter, and use whole wheat egg noodles (I've seen them!).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Newsletter, week of October 19th

Last Week

Discover all sorts of things about yourself! Explore different strategies for weight loss, learn what works for you (and what doesn't) and you'll be on your way to goal in no time.

This Week

What are you really hungry for? I know we've got some emotional eaters in the house (of course, we're Weight Watchers!) and this week we'll talk about some strategies to handle those situations.


Annita, Dawna, Karen and Maureen all received their first five pound stars this week. Sophia reached the 10 pound mark, and Cindy got her 15 pound star.

Final Lose for Good Update:

Monday 6:30pm - 44.8 pounds lost last week
Wednesday 6:30am - 22.2 pounds lost last week

WW Product of the Week

3 Month Journal - with emotional eating as our topic for the week, a journal could just be the ticket. If you can look back on your eating habits, you might notice a pattern, connect the dots, and realize what's really going on. For $6 you can have 12 weeks of information at your fingertips.

Weekly Potpourri

When cruising around the Weight Watchers website, I noticed an ad for Jolly Time popcorn - apparently there is going to be a Healthy Pop variety that will have the Points value on the box! I couldn't find any evidence of this at the Jolly Time product website, but in poking around came across this really neat WW article about popcorn, including the Points values of various brands. I know how complicated it can be to use your PointsFinders on those labels, so feel free to use this as a cheat sheet!

What's Hot at

Do you have a troubling time of day that often ends up with overeating? Here is a fantastic article with some tips for whatever time of day jams you up!

Quote of the Week

If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. - Jim Rohn

Weekly Recipe: Red Lentil, Lime & Coconut Soup

Red Lentil, Lime & Coconut Soup
POINTS® Value: 6
Servings: 5

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 pound dry lentils
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
64 oz water
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp light coconut milk
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a deep pan and lightly brown the onions and garlic with spices for 5 minutes over low heat. Add lentils and tomatoes. Stir well and pour in the measured water. Stir again and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Leave to simmer until the lentils are cooked through (about 45 min), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add the coconut milk and lime juice. Blend the soup to a very smooth puree. Adjust the seasoning to taste before serving.

This soup comes from a little soup bar in Paris that makes some fantastic soups. The recipe as written called for regular coconut milk, but to cut the points I substituted in the light version.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Newsletter, week of October 12th

Last Week

Soup can be a tasty part of your weight loss plan. Don't forget that Garden Vegetable Soup on page 63!

Also: don't forget to finalize your year-end goal plans. Get it worked out and you'll be sitting pretty for 2009.

This Week

Explore. Dream. Discover. In honor of Columbus Day, we'll talk about your quests for your weight goals - with the right plans, you'll do better than old Christopher and actually get where you intend to go!

Loose For Good - This will be the final week of the campaign. Once we tally up the results from the week's weigh-in, we'll see how far we got. Don't forget to bring in food for the food drive, if you want to participate.


Dawna and Annette both got their week two starcatchers this week, while Bridget and Lisa got the first 5 pound stars to put on theirs. Patrice has now lost 10 pounds, Dan is at 30 pounds lost, and Maria celebrated her 16-week award.

Lose for Good statistics:

Monday 6:30pm: 39.6 pounds lost
Wednesday 6:30am: 39.2 pounds lost

WW Product of the Week

Basic Member Kits - having our Complete Food Companion, Dining Out Companion, and 12 Week Journal can be key to navigating your way to your weight loss goals. Having the Points values of thousands of foods at your fingertips ensures you always know what counts. Buy it for just $25!

Weekly Potpourri

Well, Halloween is almost upon us, and I confess that I am a fan of candy corn. I try not to eat too much of it, but sometimes I can get my fix without the calories. Check out this Candy Corn Contest going on at Flickr. There are some really creative projects that pay homage to the beloved Halloween confection.

What's Hot at

We often have groups of family or friends that come in to meetings together. Sometimes friendly competition crops up, but hey wait - why do the guys usually lose faster than the gals?!? Our Science Center explains what's behind the physical side of the battle between the sexes. But remember this: the greatest predictor of your success is your adherence to the program. That's true if you're a man or a woman!

Quote of the Week

Dare to dream! Dare to explore! Celebrate your own Discovery Day!

Weekly Recipe: Beef, Mushroom & Barley Soup

Beef, Mushroom & Barley Soup
Serves 6
6 Points value and Core

1 lb boneless top round steak, trimmed and cut into 1" chunks
3/4 cup pearl barley
7 cups water
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups thawed frozen baby lima beans
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

Combine the beef, barley, and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, then add the carrots, celery, onions, salt, fennel seeds, and pepper; return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, 45 minutes.

Stir in the lima beans and mushrooms; simmer, covered, until the meat is tender, about 15 minutes longer.

Per serving: 301 calories, 6g fat (2g sat fat), 9g fiber, 666mg sodium

-- from Best Eats cookbook

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Newsletter, week of October 5th

Last Week

If you could do it all over again, would you do it exactly the same? Learn from your experience - sometimes you'll want a repeat performance, but other times you'll want to do something different.

This Week

Soup's on! Soup is a great category of food (one that I eat almost every day!). We'll talk about soup in all its glory. Bring your favorite soup recipe, or a can of your favorite soup - you can leave it in the Lose For Good box on your way out.

ALSO: it's goal time again! Come prepared to set a goal you'd like to achieve by the end of the year.


Cynthia, Lisa and Linda all got their first five pound stars. Jenni and Cindi reached 10 pounds lost, and Amber got her 15 pound star. Our biggest loser was Patty, who got her 35 pound award!

Lose For Good Update:

Monday 6:30pm - you lost 43.6 pounds last week!
Wednesday 6:30am - you lost 34.2 pounds last week!

WW Product of the Week

Weight Watchers cookbooks - why are these awesome? Well, first, they've got tons of great soup recipes (not to mention other kinds of foods). And second, from now until the end of the year, all of our cookbooks are on sale for half price! Buy one for yourself, or start your holiday shopping!

Weekly Potpourri

California is now the first state in the country to require certain restaurants to provide calorie counts on their menus. It doesn't become effective immediately, but we'll likely start seeing more nutrition information out there, which can only help our dining out efforts. Will we be shocked at what we see?

What's Hot at

You already know that tracking can help you stay on the food program, but here's why you should keep a workout journal, too.

Quote of the Week

Know thyself means this, that you get acquainted with what you know, and what you can do. - Menander

Weekly Recipe: Steak with Vegetable Hash Browns

Steak with Vegetable Hash Browns
Serves 4
6 Points value

4 slices turkey bacon, chopped
1 10oz package frozen baby Brussels sprouts
3 cups frozen hash browns
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
4 3oz filets mignons, about 3/4 inch thick, trimmed
2 tsp steak seasoning

To make the hash, spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, 4-5 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to brown, 5-6 minutes. Add the potatoes, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts are tender and the potatoes are lightly browned, 8-9 minutes.

Meanwhile, spray a broiler rack with nonstick spray and preheat broiler.

Sprinkle the filets with the steak seasoning and place them on the broiler rack. Broil 5 inches from the heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the side of each filet registers 145 degrees for medium, 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve at once with the hash.

Per serving: 297 calories, 10g fat (3g sat fat), 4g fiber, 860mg sodium

-- from Shortcuts cookbook