Thursday, July 29, 2010

Roundup, week of August 1st

Good heavens how is it already almost August?!? Are you making the progress you wanted this summer? How about this year? No time like the present to kick it in gear!

What Happened Last Week

What happened was that I led 4 meetings in 4 days, so I have a ton of celebrations, and I'm not sure which sheets are for what meetings. So I'm going to list all of them!

But before I do that, remember to snack smart. Snacking can be an essential tool in regulating your hunger and providing good nutrition. But done poorly it can also be a source of empty calories and a barrier to progress. Do it right, and remember that when you snack it, YOU TRACK IT.

On to celebrations this week: Kelle and Paul both got five pound stars; Char and Daniella have now lost 10 pounds; Scarlett reached 15 pounds lost; David got to 20 pounds lost; Victoria hit 45, Jessica at 60, and Josh has lost an astounding 85 pounds! Tasha, Daniella, Lois and Jeane all got to 5% lost, and Jalie hit her 10% target. What a fun (and busy) week!

So What's Coming Up?

The topic for this next week really hits home with me - uncontrolled eating. If you've ever hid your eating from anyone, or felt like you were totally unable to stop, this is the meeting for you. We might hit upon some touchy subjects with this one, but I think it can be a powerful one.

Thought for the Week

A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse. - Stephen Dolley, Jr.

Other Things In The Works

Recipe Swap! - once again, you've requested it, we'll do it. Start thinking about your favorite recipe and be ready to bring it in and share. I haven't decided what week we'll actually do this, but once I get everyone's recipes, I'll also post them here. ONE CAVEAT: anything you share with us must have either nutrition information or Points value available. This means you may have to use the Recipe Builder or do some math. I will not do it for you!

Summer Potluck Picnic! - do you think it would be fun to hang out with some fellow healthy minded folks? Would you like to share healthy dishes and have some fun outside? Stay tuned for details....

Weekly Recipe: Summer Avocado Sandwich

I have a page-a-day calendar on my desk at work, and it probably won't surprise you to know that the calendar provides health tips, motivational quotes and healthy recipes.

The other day I came across this one, and I'm going to be trying it this weekend:

Spread 1 teaspoon of miso paste on 2 slices of toasted whole grain bread. Add 1/2 of a mashed avocado, 2 tomato slices, salt and pepper.

353 calories, 17 grams of fat (I don't know how many grams of fiber - it didn't provide that information.)

I will likely substitute the bread slices with a sandwich thin, and by my estimation that would save you about 80 calories.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Roundup, week of July 25th

What Happened Last Week?

Part two of plateaus. Okay, we know we need to get over them, so this week we discussed actual tools and things we can do. Remember this fact: 90% of plateaus are caused by relaxed adherence to plan!

This week we celebrated a 10 pound star for Leigh, a 45 pound star for Tauni, 16 week charms for Erika and Tessa, a 5% award for William and a 10% keychain for Maggie.

So What's Coming Up?

As if we didn't talk about food enough, this week we'll tackle snacking. That means talking about the pros and the cons, as well as sharing snack ideas.

Things I Didn't Know I Needed

Wednesday we had a small little meeting - just four of you checked in and stayed! This meant we got to tackle what was really going on in your lives, and in the process I was reminded why Weight Watchers is a really expensive job for me.

Now I totally need a Vitamix and a Fitbit thanks to rave reviews from Patty and Kim. If any of you have thoughts on either, you're more than welcome to share them in comments. Together these are some pretty big ticket items, so unless I start playing the lottery, I guess I'd better start buttering up my relatives before my birthday and Christmas roll around!

Thought for the Week

A bend in the road is not the end of the road ... unless you fail to make the turn. - Author Unknown

Weekly Recipe: Viva Laughing Cow!

These new flavors of Light Laughing Cow cheeses have been the talk of the town, at least in the meetings I've worked lately. Well, Hungry Girl has been on the case, so this week I don't have to do any work.

Check out these recipes that you can make with the new wedges!

Thanks to Emily for passing this along.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Au Contraire!

Not if you keep attending my meetings you won't! If you're reading this and it's been a long time since you have been in a meeting, why not come back for a visit? Trust me, no one will judge. You know why? Because there's not a person in that meeting room (myself included) who hasn't been there before. Trust me, I don't remember what you weighed the last time you came in.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Roundup, week of July 18th

What Happened Last Week?

Plateaus are a natural part of the weight loss process, but they can really be a bummer. We talked about ways to keep our brains on track so our butts stay on track!

Between this morning and right now I've somehow lost my celebration sheets for this week. If we awarded you a milestone, I'm sorry I can't post it here! The milestone I absolutely DO remember for this past week is that Joanne passed her Leader Training on Monday night! Thanks to Lemon Grove for supporting her through the process and for putting out a great meeting this week.

So What's Coming Up?

Okay, so now you know if it's really a plateau or not. And you know you've got to push through it. This week we'll talk about specific strategies and actions you can take to hit the reset button and get back on the downhill slope.

Thought for the Week

The most important thing in life is to stop saying "I wish" and start saying "I will." Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities. - David Copperfield

Weekly Recipe: French Toast

I'm pretty aware of everything I eat, you know? All that tracking and whatnot. But I wasn't truly aware of what I was craving today until I looked at the results of a recipe search.

There are a lot of recipe sites online, and many of them have recipes with Weight Watchers Points values. And I've visited most of them. I was putzing through LaaLoosh today and made note of several recipes I thought would be worth saving for later.

It turns out two of them are for French Toast. I guess I have a craving for French toast then.

I'm not sure if I'll be trying either of these this weekend, mostly because I'm not sure I want to turn on the oven if it's going to be warm. But I'm keeping these close at hand!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Eat to Live? Or Live to Eat?

I stumbled across this really interesting article in The Wall Street Journal today about what food does to our brain. Scientists are looking at how the lure of delicious food can overwhelm the body's built-in mechanism to regulate hunger and fullness. It turns out that for some people, just seeing or hearing about certain foods can cause us to seek out these treats.

Some interesting quotes from the article:

Some of the most intriguing imaging studies have peered into the brains of people who have lost significant weight and kept it off through diet and exercise alone—although researchers say they're hard to find.

"Post-obese people are extremely prone to regain weight," says Dr. Del Parigi. "The only way they have to counteract these strong predispositions is by having a very controlled lifestyle, with restrained food intake and exercise."

And this is why you'll see a bevvy of Lifetime members in our meetings. As they say, we're one slice of cake away from becoming that fat kid again!

Speaking of cake, be sure to take that little quiz on the side bar. In the interest of full disclosure, I scored a 4: You're frequently preoccupied with food and at risk of losing control over your eating. This is especially problematic if you are also significantly overweight.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Roundup, week of July 11th

What Happened Last Week?

Last week the Monday crew was awesome and showed up in the usual numbers to spend the "holiday" with me. Thank you all so much for dropping in on what was probably a day off for many of you!

We discussed why fruits and vegetables are so important to us - they provide eating satisfaction, good nutrition, color and taste...and so much more. Your challenge for the week is to fill half your plate with them. You can do it - summer fruit is so awesome, how can you not?

We celebrated successes with Bethanie (5%), Marc (40 pounds), William (first 5!), and Valarie (Stay and Succeed).

So What's Coming Up?

There is a word that strikes fear in the hearts of Weight Watchers everywhere - PLATEAU. We will clarify what exactly one is (hint: it's not a gain of 0.4 when you've lost every other week you've been a member!) but more importantly how we can get through them and pick up the weight loss progress once again.

This is an extraordinarily important topic - plateaus are a natural part of weight loss, and what separates the men from the boys (so to speak) is how we deal with them. You can't ignore it and hope to still reach your goal. Make it a point to find a meeting this week and check it out!

Thought for the Week

Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you. - Denis Waitley

Weekly Recipe: Blueberry-Sausage Strata

With the Fruit & Veggie challenge underway, here's an interesting way to get in some servings. Fill the other half of your plate with a side salad or fruit salad and you'll be set.

If you're like me, and you sometimes don't read the instructions before you decide on a recipe, here's a tip: THIS NEEDS TO SIT FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS, OR OVERNIGHT. Make sure you budget that time in! :)

Blueberry-Sausage Strata
Serves 10

1/2 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
4 cups fresh blueberries
1 (1 pound) loaf whole wheat crusty bread, thinly sliced
1 quart low-fat (1%) milk
1 1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add sausage, leeks, and thyme; cook, breaking up sausage with wooden spoon, until sausage is no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; stir in 2 cups blueberries.

Spray 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Whisk milk, egg substitute, salt and pepper in large bowl until blended. Place half of bread in baking dish; top evenly with sausage mixture and then egg mixture. Top with remaining bread, pressing it into egg mixture until moistened. Cover and refrigerate until bread softens, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325. Uncover baking dish and place in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of baking dish. Bake until center is set and top is browned, 60-65 minutes.

Carefully transfer strata to rack and let cool completely. (Or cover tightly with foil and freeze up to 1 month. To serve, let thaw in refrigerator overnight. Bake, covered, at 350 until heated through, 25-30 minutes.) Serve, sprinkled with remaining 2 cups of blueberries.

Per serving (about 1 cup): 258 cal, 5g fat, 1g sat fat, 1g trans fat, 26mg cholesterol, 559mg sodium, 5g fiber, 19g protein

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Roundup, week of July 4th

What Happened Last Week?

By the way, that's happening this week at Lemon Grove, too. In reality what happened is that we discussed how disruptions like vacations and summer breaks can impact our weight loss efforts. Some of you had some great ideas on how to keep it from being a disaster, and how to have the right mindset when you take a trip. No guilt and no deprivation, please!

We had a lot of great celebrations this week. Charms went to Carol for reaching 10% and to Erika for 16 weeks. Kyle got a 10 pound star, Erika (a different one) got a 20 pound star, and Mark is the biggest loser this week at 45 pounds. Great job everyone!

So What's Coming Up?

Remember, we are open for business as usual on Monday night! End your holiday weekend by doing something for yourself. No-Weigh-In Passes will always be honored in case you indulged a little too much.

This week will kick off our second annual 4 Weeks to 5 Fruits and Vegetables, and we'll start by discussing why these foods are so valuable to us as Weight Watchers. I bet you've already started to figure it out!

Thoughts for the Week

"If there is no wind, row." - Latin Proverb
"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." - Milton Berle
"Things come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." - Abraham Lincoln

Weekly Recipe: No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

This week I'm just giving you a link. I'm thinking low effort, in honor of the holiday weekend. So in honor of MY low effort, I'm linking YOU a low effort recipe.

If you've got a cookout planned this weekend, how about No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake for dessert?

I'll be by for a slice, okay?