Thursday, April 30, 2009

Newsletter, week of May 3rd

Last Week

We explored the various types of carbohydrates, and some of the myths surrounding them. Remember if you're focusing on the Filling Foods list, you're definitely getting the right kind of carbs!

This Week

Our actions are a direct result of our thoughts. And sometimes those thoughts can be negative, and we don't even realize it. We'll talk about how to focus on the positive this week.


Karen, Tina and Maria survived their first week on Weight Watchers, and received their Star Catchers. Dawna got a 30 pound star to put on hers, and Andrea and Alicia received their 16-week Stay and Succeed charms. Connie reached her 5% target and is now focused on her next goal!

WW Product of the Week

Weight Watchers Magazine - the recipe I posted this week is from our latest issue, and it's an example of the many meal ideas you can get in each of our magazines. Did you know that if you join our Momentum Walk-It Challenge and enter a 5K event you can receive three free issues? Check out the current issue in our meeting rooms to see what's in store for you.

Weekly Potpourri

Did you know the CEO of Weight Watchers just started his own blog about weight loss? Check him out here. So far there are only a few entries, but he comes across as a very down to earth man. And if you think weight loss and Weight Watchers is just a bunch of ladies, forget it!

What's Hot at

I hate to say "hey, this is a really cool article" because if you need it you're probably not thrilled, but given today's economy, check out how to stay on track if you lose your job. I know we have members in this boat, and if you're reading this saying "yep, that's me" I am sending you all the best job mojo in the world!

Quote of the Week

The first step toward change is acceptance. Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do. Change is not something you do, it's something you allow. - Will Garcia

Weekly Recipe: Sausage Paella

Sausage Paella
Serves 6
5 Points value

1 lb. turkey kielbasa or fully cooked chicken sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 1/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 14.5oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3/4 c. basmati or long-grain brown rice
12 small stuffed green olives
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the kielbasa and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Heat the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 4 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, rice, olives, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer until the rice is almost tender, about 35 minutes.

Stir in the kielbasa. Cover and simmer until the rice is tender and the kielbasa is heated through, about 5 minutes. Fluff the mixture with a fork and stir in the parsley.

Per serving: 261 cal, 11g fat (3g sat fat), 4g fiber, 1,118 mg sodium

This recipe is from the May/June issue of Weight Watchers magazine. I love the concept of paella but am not a huge seafood fan, so this caught my eye immediately. It's going to be on my dinner table Sunday night!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Newsletter, week of April 26th

Last Week

Self-monitoring can take many forms, but all are important for success. Find the method that works best for you, and you can stay aware and in control.

This Week

Carbohydrates - the misunderstood food. Are they bad? Do they cause weight gain? We'll explore the truth and the myth.


Katelyn and Mercy both lost their first 5 pounds, Irma and Annita celebrated 15 pounds lost, and Myra reached 30 pounds lost. Bridget also reached 16 weeks of membership. I know there were some other celebrations this week that didn't make my written list, so if I'm missing you, I apologize!

WW Product of the Week

We've got a brand new cookbook, as you can see from my weekly recipe. Hit the Spot looks like it has some wonderful savory, crispy and spicy meal ideas, plus some sweet finishes. And if this one doesn't tickle your fancy, we've got a couple other cookbooks to choose from - if you haven't ever looked at one, pick one up this week and flip through it. The pictures are to die for, the Points are calculated, and based on my own years of home cooking, they taste pretty fantastic, too!

Weekly Potpourri

If you're taking part in the Momentum Walk-It Challenge, make sure you're treating your feet right with a good pair of walking shoes. While you can pick up a pair at any shoe store or sporting goods store, a store that specializes in running or walking can provide you with knowledgeable staff who can fit your foot properly. I personally recommend both Road Runner Sports (off the 52 at Convoy) and Movin' Shoes (multiple locations, including one in La Mesa). During my marathoning phase, I spent a lot of time shopping with those folks, and they kept my feet (and the rest of me) pretty happy!

What's Hot at

Everyone's got their trouble spots, and mine is my abs. I'm sure many of you will be in that boat with me. So when I spied Tummy Toners vs. Time Wasters I was intrigued. Check it out for some hints on techniques to get the most out of your sit-ups.

Quote of the Week

It doesn't matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions. - Jim Rohn

Weekly Recipe: Potato Chip-Coated Sea Bass

This is a recipe from our newest cookbook Hit the Spot. I just got my hands on a copy yesterday, so I haven't actually cooked anything from it, but in typical fashion, the photos are absolutely mouthwatering. Flip through one the next time you're in the meeting room.

Potato Chip-Coated Sea Bass
Serves 4
5 Points value

2 Tbsp fat-free mayonnaise
1 Tbsp barbecue sauce
4 (6oz) sea bass fillets
2 cups baked barbecue flavor potato chips

Place an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the broiler rack with foil.

Stir together the mayonnaise and barbecue sauce in a cup.

Place the bass fillets, skin side down, on the broiler rack; spread the mayonnaise mixture evenly over the tops of the fillets.

Place the potato chips in a large zip-close plastic bag. With a rolling pin or meat mallet, coarsely crush the chips. Top the fish evenly with the chips and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Bake until the fish is just opaque in the center, about 12 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Broil the fish 5 inches from the heat until the potato chip topping is lightly browned, about 30 seconds.

Per serving: 234 cal, 4g fat (1g sat fat), 1g fiber, 346mg sodium

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Newsletter, week of April 19th

Last Week

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Use Storyboarding to break down your goals into little bite-sized pieces.

This Week

Monitoring yourself is really key to weight loss success. We'll discuss some of the challenges and some of the benefits. Having trouble tracking? Find a solution this week!


This week was awesome. We had three 10% celebrations: Alexandria, Alma and Juanita (who was dancing in the aisles)! I gave five pound stars to all of the following:

Christa - 5 pounds
Alexandria - 10 pounds
Dan - 10 pounds
Trina - 35 pounds
Candy - 45 pounds
Myrna - 45 pounds
Steve - 60 pounds
Heidi - 90 pounds

This is absolutely fantastic. You all continue to inspire me with your progress.

WW Product of the Week

If we're talking about self-monitoring, what better tools to feature than the Points Clicker and the 3 Month Journal. Both can help you keep track, but involve very different levels of effort. There's something for everyone!

Weekly Potpourri

I'm going to use this space once again to promote our new Momentum Walk-It Challenge. If you signed up for Team Outsmart the Fat this week, make sure you log on to Team Weight Watchers to sign up and download your walking or running plan. And while I do have a thread in the community section of that site, I've just created my own Outsmart the Fat Message Forum. Please surf on over and start discussing how our team will work. Do you need a workout partner? Interested in finding out what 5K events are coming up locally? Let's start talking!

What's Hot at

Not looking as great as you'd like yet? That doesn't mean you can't like your body. Here are some tips to keep you from being your own worst enemy.

Quote of the Week

Life is like riding a bike. It is impossible to maintain your balance while standing still. - Linda Brakeall

Weekly Recipe: Crockpot Chicken & 40 Cloves of Garlic

In my mind there is no such thing as "too much garlic" and this is a dish I've long wanted to make. This is probably the easiest version I've ever found.

Crock Pot Chicken and 40 Cloves of Garlic
Serves 8
5 Points value

3 pounds chicken (I used boneless skinless breasts)
1 large onion, sliced (I used a sweet yellow onion)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
40 garlic cloves, peeled, but intact (this was about 2 and a half heads of garlic for me)

Place onion slices on the bottom of the stoneware insert. In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken parts with olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper, and all of the garlic cloves. Pour into crockpot, on top of the onion.

Do not add water.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6. The longer you cook the chicken, the more tender it will be. I kept my chicken in the crock for about 8 hours, and the meat was falling apart.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Newsletter, week of April 12th

Last Week

You can stay in control. Use the internal and external tips we talked about, and you'll be in control and on your way.

This Week

Any large task can be accomplished one step at a time. We'll show you how to take that first step.


Leondra got her first five pound star, Irma got her 10 pound star, Alma is now at 20 pounds lost, and Velma happily received her 45 pound star this week. Great job ladies!

WW Product of the Week

Check out our NEW Wild Berry Smoothies! This is our latest seasonal flavor, in addition to the standard chocolate and vanilla that's available year-round. I made my first one this morning, and I'm still trying to decide which berry taste is front and center. Make sure you try it before they're gone!

Weekly Potpourri

I had a special request on Monday night for Easter candy points. This list is by no means complete, and you should always check any labeling you might have (hint: that big bag of mini candy bars has the nutrition information on it, even though the tiny bars themselves don't!). But this will at least be a good start for some educated guessing:

Brachs Fiesta Malted Milk Eggs, 5 (180 cal/5 g fat/1 g fiber/31 g carbs) 4
Brachs Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Egg Crate, 4 eggs (170 cal/5 g fat/0 g fiber/31 g carbs) 4
Brachs Robin Eggs, 6 (200 cal/8 g fat/1 g fiber/31 g carbs) 4.5
Cadbury Caramel Egg, 1 (190 cal/10 g fat/0 g fiber/24 g carbs) 5
Cadbury Chocolate Egg, 1 (180 cal/8 g fat/1 g fiber/25 g carbs) 4.5
Cadbury Creme Egg, 1 (170 cal/6 g fat/0 g fiber/28 g carbs) 4
Cadbury Mini Eggs, 12 (190 cal/8 g fat/1 g fiber/28 g carbs) 5
Chocolate Bunny, 1 oz (140 cal) 3
Chocolate Bunny, 1 3/4 oz (260 cal) 5.5
Chocolate Bunny, 3 oz (440 cal/28 g fat) 11.5
Chocolate Bunny, 7 oz (1050 cal) 21
Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Bunny (60 cal) 1.5
Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Egg, 1 (100 cal) 2
Dove Truffle Eggs, Milk Chocolate, 1 (150 cal/10 g fat/0.25 g fiber) 4
Easter Smarties, 1 oz (100 cal/0 g fat/0 g fiber/25 g carbs) 2
Hershey's Candy-Coated Milk Chocolate Eggs, 4 (90 cal/4 g fat/0 g fiber/12 g carbs) 2.5
Hershey Robin Eggs, 24 (170 cal/5 g fat/0 g fiber/31 g carbs) 4
Lindt Chocolate Carrots, 4 (210 cal) 4.5
Lindt Lindor Mini Eggs, 3 (90 cal/7 g fat/0 g fiber/7 g carbs) 2.5
Lindt Lindor Mini Eggs, Double Milk, 3 (80 cal/5 g fat/0 g fiber/8 g carbs) 2.5
Marshmallow Chicks [Circus Peanut type], 5 (136 cal) 3
Milky Way, 1 egg (190 cal/12 g fat/0 g fiber) 5
Nestles Peanut Butter Mallow, 1 (140 cal/8 g fat/<1 g fiber) 3.5
Peeps, Regular, 5 (160 cal/0 g fat/0 g fiber/40 g carbs) 3.5
Peeps, Sugar-Free, 3 (60 cal/0 g fat/0 g fiber/23 g carbs) 1.5
Russell Stover Vanilla Cream Chocolate Egg (389 cal/12 g fat) 9
Smuckers (Brachs) Jelly Beans, 25 (150 cal/0 g fat/0 g fiber/37 g carbs) 3
Snickers Egg, 1 egg (170 cal/10 g fat/1 g fiber) 4
Spongebob Squarepants Hollow Egg, 1 (300 cal) 6
Wolfgang Dark Chocolate Vanilla Butter Cream Eggs, 2 (120 cal/4.5 g fat/0 g fiber/22 g carbs) 3

Information courtesy of Dottie's Weight Loss Zone

What's Hot at

I briefly mentioned this before, but Weight Watchers is going to be partnering up with Active Network to help you get moving or take that next step in your activity plan. The links I'm going to post currently are dead, but the Walk-It Challenge is supposed to be up and running on Sunday, April 12. Hopefully by then you can find the information here:

Walk-It Challenge

Team Weight Watchers

Once these sites are up and working, I'm going to be creating a team for any of you who are interested in joining the program and training for a 5K run or walk. You can bet if I can name it "Outsmart the Fat" I surely will!

Quote of the Week

Sometimes you've got to let everything go - purge yourself. If you are unhappy with anything - whatever is bringing you down, get rid of it. Because you'll find that when you're free, your true creativity, your true self comes out. - Tina Turner

Weekly Recipe: Leek and Orzo Gratin

Leek and Orzo Gratin
Serves 4
4 Points value

1 c. whole wheat orzo
2 tsp olive oil
3 leeks, cleaned and sliced, white and light green parts only
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 c. shredded fontina cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 2 quart baking dish with nonstick spray.

Cook the orzo according to package directions, omitting the salt if desired.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the orzo, thyme, salt and pepper.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Per serving: 201 cal, 5g fat (2g sat fat), 480mg sodium, 4g fiber

From the May-June 2009 Weight Watchers Magazine

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Newsletter, week of April 5th

Last Week

Special occasions don't have to send you off track. Planning ahead, rehearsing your behavior, and finding ways to lighten favorite recipes can all help you navigate the spring eating season.

This Week

One of the worst feelings is to feel out of control. We'll discuss some techniques and behaviors that can help your self-control.


Sarah got her first five pound star, Aleesha and John reached 10 pounds lost, and Rocio and Kendria have now lost fifteen pounds. Marie hit 25 pounds lost, Candy reached 40 pounds, and Steve has now lost over 55 pounds! We also gave Myra her 10% keychain to celebrate her first goal.

WW Product of the Week

Side Sale! All of our side dishes (that's the Mexican Rice, the Chicken Noodles and the Tomato Parmesan Noodles) are on sale! Save a dollar a package, which means you only spend $2 and you get a healthy, portion controlled side dish. Be creative and add some meat or veggies, and you've got a full meal possibility as well.

Weekly Potpourri

A crockpot can be a great time-saving kitchen appliance. But it does way more than just make stew! Last weekend I tried making yogurt in my crockpot. I figure this is much cheaper than buying those little containers!

A note on this: I modified the recipe on that link. I used a half-gallon of nonfat milk, and threw in 1/2 cup of nonfat milk powder (it helps thicken the yogurt). Turn the crockpot on low for 3 hours. Unplug the crockpot and let it sit for 1 hour. Take 2 cups of the milk out, and stir in a small container of fat-free plain yogurt (this is your "starter" and helps the bacteria do its thing) into it. Pour the milk & yogurt mix back into the crock and wrap the whole thing up really well with a blanket or towels (I used about 4 towels, I think). Let it sit overnight. If it's not thick enough for your taste, you can always strain it through coffee filters or cheesecloth.

What's Hot at

I am a big fan of a good night's sleep. I'm also a fan of a good nap. So it's kind of nice to know that getting decent sleep can help you manage your weight! Check out this article if you have a bit of trouble getting some shuteye.

Quote of the Week

Before you begin a thing remind yourself that difficulties and delays quite impossible to foresee are ahead. You can only see one thing clearly, and that is your goal. Form a mental vision of that and cling to it through thick and thin. - Kathleen Norris

Weekly Recipe: Beef with Asparagus & Cherry Tomatoes

Beef with Asparagus & Cherry Tomatoes
Makes 4 servings
3 Points value per serving
works with the Simply Filling technique

24 asparagus spears cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup water
10oz lean, trimmed, boneless sirloin steak, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
24 cherry tomatoes, halved

Combine the asparagus and water in a skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the asparagus is tender, about 2 minutes. Pour off the water.

Sprinkle the beef with the salt and pepper; add it to the asparagus along with the scallions and garlic. Saute until the beef is cooked through. Add the tomatoes and saute until heated through, about 2 minutes longer.