Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Weekly Recipe: Bean, Vegetable & Feta Bake

I posted earlier this year that there were a ton of recipes in the January/February issue of Weight Watchers magazine that I'd marked to try. I'm still working my way through the list!

This week I made Bean, Vegetable and Feta Bake and MAN ALIVE was it awesome. Incidentally, I don't know who that Suzi is, but judging by the front page of her blog, I think she's a gal I'd like to know! Anyway, she saved me the trouble of typing up the recipe, plus she does a little pictorial.

When I made the recipe I used garbanzo beans instead of the white beans, simply because I already had a can in the pantry. I also used bread crumbs instead of actual pieces of bread. Otherwise, exactly the same. And exactly as awesome. Give it a shot!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Appetite Adjustment

A friend forwarded an interesting article via Berkeley Wellness Alerts about getting control of your appetite. I link it for you so that you can read it for yourself, but I'm going to add a little of my own commentary here.

Volume - If we tend to eat the same volume of food no matter what, we serve ourselves best by eating foods full of bulk, not calories. Look at the list the Berkeley folks have put together. Looks a lot like the Filling Foods list, doesn't it?

Food Components - Berkeley mentions high protein breakfasts, and this takes me to my flip chart for the new member orientation. 4 Points on toast or 4 Points on an omelet? Which will sustain you longer?

Portion Size and Visual Cues - didn't we just have a meeting on this? How much you eat is so important, so do yourself a favor and make sure you don't fall into traps where you don't realize how much you're eating.

These tips and the rest at the link are pretty much verbatim what you'll hear in Weight Watchers meetings around the country. To me this is validation. To you, maybe the more you hear it, the more you'll believe it!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Roundup, week of March 28th

What Happened Last Week?

Not the first time you've tried to lose weight? Join the club! But reflecting back on what happened last time can give you the knowledge to help fight it this time. Learning from experience is a powerful thing - do what you know worked before, trash what didn't!

This week started off with some great celebrations, including a 15 pound star for Marc, a 20 pound star for Tauni, and a 35 pound star for Ginger. Carolyn wrapped up the week for us by receiving her 15 pound star on Wednesday. Nice going!

Are you getting the awards you want? If your weight loss is stalled, talk to us about it. Bring in a journal for me to review - you are keeping one, right?

So What's Coming Up?

Having a buddy can be helpful to keep you on track. This week we'll discuss how to find a buddy, and what having one can bring to the table. If you have friends who are wondering about Weight Watchers, this would be the perfect time to bring them with you! Visitors are always welcome to sit in on a meeting and see if it's right for them.

Kroc Fit!

Many of you Lemon Grove folks know about the Kroc Center when it comes to working out. Tip of the hat goes to Trista for bringing me a flier for their upcoming Kroc Fit Challenge. See the Weight Watchers logo there? We happen to be starting a meeting at the center on Saturday mornings, which I tell you NOT because I want you to start going there! But know it's an option if you can't see me on Monday nights. Anyway, the Kroc Fit challenge looks like a neat way to get you motivated to exercise and lose weight in a team setting. It does have a price tag, but it might be the jumpstart you need! I have a few of the handouts - which has a registration form, so if you're interested, let me know and I'll pass one along.

Thought for the Week

"Being defeated is often temporary; giving up makes it permanent." - Marilyn vos Savant

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weekly Recipe: Matzo Casserole

Just a note - this recipe is from a non-WW source and I have not verified the Points value for this recipe. You can determine for yourself if you trust this person's website, and if not, you can always build the recipe yourself!

I don't celebrate Passover, but that doesn't mean I won't try something designed for it! This seems like an intriguing mix of ingredients, though I admit I will likely use ground turkey instead of ground beef.

Beef and Spinach Matzo Casserole - 5 Points

If you celebrate, do you have any recommended kosher recipes for me to highlight?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Roundup, week of March 21st

What Happened Last Week?

Portion control is an extremely important part of weight management, and it's best if you don't leave it up to luck! Use the tools in your kitchen and on the end of your arm to be a little more exact and you're sure to see success.

Congratulations go out this week to Barbara, who completed her final week of leader training on Monday night. She is now officially our newest Weight Watchers leader! Thanks to all of you on the Lemon Grove team for being so friendly and welcoming to her as she became part of our meeting. She'll be moving on to her own meetings right away!

So What's Coming Up?

Have you tried to lose weight once before? Twice before? A million times before? Don't worry, you're not alone. But we'll talk about how we can make this time your last and stop that yo-yo action.

Recipe Link

I didn't have much time or inspiration for cooking and recipe planning this week, so I don't have an actual recipe to post. But I thought I'd at least pass along a link. Passover is around the corner, and if you'd like to adopt healthy new recipes, consider the group that Eating Well has put together. Eating Well is a nice magazine for people who like food, cooking AND being healthy, so I trust what they've put together.

Thought for the Week

You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone, which can become a watered-down, occasional hope that you'll get to tomorrow. Intention without action is useless. - Caroline Myss

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

By Request

Here is the poem that Barbara read at the end of last night's meeting:

Hand It to Portion Control

Let’s eat out and keep control.
Use your hands to grab your goal.
Cup or read your palm, don’t cheat.
Gauge two ounces of nuts or three of meat.
Use your thumb or just the end …
one ounce, or a tablespoon above the bend.
Clench your fist to estimate,
a cup of food upon your plate.
The tip of the index finger means
a teaspoon, to keep you in your jeans.
Only eat the points you planned.
Trust yourself and use your hand.

(don't forget to wiggle your thumb when you get to that part - I think that's what really put it over the top!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In advance of this week's meeting...

I found some real neat links on portion sizes.

This first image has a bunch of great rules of thumb on how to eyeball portion sizes.

Click on it to make it bigger, because at least on my netbook screen, it's an eye chart! Anyway, a lot of these are familiar to us at Weight Watchers. I did, however, laugh at the comparison on the egg. One egg is equivalent to one egg? YOU DON'T SAY.

This next link is from New York City and has a neat little visual on how portions have changed over the years. Remember when we could buy 8 ounce sodas?

Portion Sizes are a Problem (Warning! PDF)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Roundup, week of March 14th

What Happened Last Week?

We finished up our 10 weeks of valuable weight loss skills with celebrating your success. When you realize how great of a job you're doing, it will help you to keep on plugging away! We'll celebrate just about anything health related in the meeting room, so don't be shy with sharing!

This week we gave 10 pound awards to Bethanie and Gretchen. Tom and Tauni reached 20 pounds lost, and Mary has now lost over 40 pounds! I left my celebration sheets at Lemon Grove on Monday night, but if memory serves, we celebrated with Lurenette - 10 or 15 pounds? And Marivel and Marisol also got awards.

So What's Coming Up?

Sometimes it's not about what you eat, but about how much you're eating. We'll talk portion sizes and how to make sure you're eating the right amount.

Remember folks, this weekend we set our clocks an hour ahead. I know that'll jangle your schedule a little bit, but don't let it mess up your Weight Watchers meeting. Particularly on Wednesday it'll be a bit of a battle, I know. But if I have to get up so do you!

Thought for the Week

I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom. - General George S. Patton

Weekly Recipe: Middle Eastern Vegetarian Chili

I had to pull out the Healthy Cooking Basics this week because Fern made me realize it had been a long time since I'd cooked anything from it. I have so many Weight Watchers cookbooks, it's hard to rotate them all!

This is going to be dinner this week, and it would be a great way for you to get some whole grains in - have you ever tried wheat berries? They're nice and chewy, so this chili will probably really feel like it has substance.

Middle Eastern Vegetarian Chili
Serves 6

1 cup wheat berries
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp harissa
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp honey

Bring large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat; stir in wheat berries. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until berries are tender but still chewy, 45-60 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in wheat berries and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

For 1 1/3 cups: 257 cal, 5g fat (1g sat fat), 572mg sodium, 8g fiber

Note: harissa is a spicy North African condiment made from chiles, garlic, cumin, coriander, and caraway seeds. I'm hoping to find it at Henry's!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Roundup, week of March 7th

What Happened Last Week

BO-RING is a dangerous proposition. Use the internet, your WW friends, and whatever else you can think of to keep your food and activity choices interesting. It's much easier to stick with it that way!

This week was an outstanding week for celebrations. We gave 5 pound stars to Mark and Sheila, a 10 pound star to Carolyn, and a 25 pound star for a different Carolyn. Mark (yet another one) got both his 10% award and a 25 pound star. Tauni and Margarita both got their 5% awards on Monday night. And last, but definitely not least, CANDY IS AT GOAL! Woo hoo!

So What's Coming Up?

We've spent the first 9 weeks of the year looking at some really important weight loss skills. We're going to review what those were, and go through the final one - celebrating. It's important to celebrate and reward our accomplishments, so we'll make sure to do that with you this week.

Interesting Link

I bang the drum on exercise a lot, because I really think it's vital for most of us to get the weight off, and to keep it off long-term. I found this New York Times article yesterday, and thought I'd pass it along. Just another source saying "hey, exercise is good for a lot of things!" You know, just in case you don't believe me.

Thought for the Week

Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all. - Norman Vincent Peale

Weekly Recipe: courtesy of Whole Paycheck, I mean Whole Foods. It turns out they have some pretty good recipes online, with a nice search feature. Not everything is probably light, but they do have recipes tagged as low fat or high fiber, for example, so you can weed out the ones you really want.

This one looks tasty, and while I probably won't have time to roast any tomatoes this weekend, it's definitely going on the list.

Pasta with Tomatoes & Zucchini

Nutrition information is provided, so it'll be easy for you to convert that into Points. Enjoy!