Monday, August 30, 2010

Potluck Picnic Recap

Yesterday eight of us gathered at Liberty Station park on a beautiful day to have a "healthy potluck." What I'd announced that to mean is that while you were welcome to bring whatever dish you like, you needed to be ready to provide Points values for your offering. That way, the environment would be a safe and easy way for us to have fun and stick to our goals.

Taking photos of foods labeled on white index cards on a bright sunny day is apparently well beyond my photography skills, but I did manage to get this one that'll give you an example:

I think it was unanimous that Liberty Station provides an excellent venue for a nice day outdoors. There were plenty of tables and grills, lots of grassy areas, clean bathrooms, and most importantly plenty of parking. The park is right beneath the flight path of Lindbergh field, so be prepared to hear planes, but otherwise since the park is relatively new, it's still an undiscovered gem.

All the dishes offered with healthy and AWESOME, and I hope to highlight those recipes right here in the near future. Stay tuned!

Thanks to Emily, Mike, Sue, Wendy, Pam and Jackie for coming out and spending the afternoon with Chris and I. Despite ample sunscreen, I still managed to get a whole summer's worth of burn in one day. Oops.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Roundup, week of August 29th

What Happened Last Week?

We discussed how to ditch that deprivation mindset. Remember, there are lots of ways to work in your favorite foods. If you can't figure a way to get a particular food in safely, be sure to ask during a meeting - I'm sure we'll be able to offer up some options!

Mylisa received her first five pound star, and Christina, Karyn and Annalisa reached ten pounds lost. We gave Victoria a 15 pound star and William a 20 pound star. Carol reached 16 weeks of membership so got her Stay and Succeed charm.

And I know that lots of you have already received 11 out of 14 stickers on your summer challenge sheet, so we'll be celebrating with YOU next week!

So What's Coming Up?

First off, this will be the final week of the Succeed All Summer Challenge. I'll be holding the drawings this week for the "grand prize" (I hate to play it up, it's not a new car or anything!) and I'll be taking your slips home with me for a more personal celebration I'll deliver the following week.

Topic-wise, we'll be discussing the benefits of exercise, which hopefully will encourage you to engage in activity on a consistent basis. No use starting up a plan only to abandon it after a week, right?

The picnic is almost here!

This Sunday, August 29th is finally here! We'll be gathering at the park in Liberty Station, which is behind the Ace Hardware at Cushing & Dewey Roads. We'll start at 1:30 and I'll be there at least until 4:30 so if you can drop by anytime in that period, please do! If you bring a dish to share, be ready to write down the nutrition information and/or Points value PER SERVING of your offering. We won't be the Points Police out there, but we do want to be able to make safe and easy decisions for ourselves.

Tables may or may not be available to us, so be ready with a chair, blanket, or any portable picnic gear you might have.

Thought for the Week

Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Weekly Recipe: Chile Rellenos Casserole

This is one of the recipes that Kim shared with us, and is one that I haven't yet tried for myself. I love green chiles!

Chile Rellenos Casserole

Serves 6
7 WW points if using lean ground beef

1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 16 oz can fat-free refried beans
2 4 oz cans whole green chiles, drained and -- cut into quarters
1 cup (4 oz) pre-shredded Colby-Jack cheese -- divided
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn -- thawed and drained
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups skim milk
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
2 large eggs -- lightly beaten
2 large egg whites -- lightly beaten
red onion slices -- (optional)
Cilantro sprigs -- (optional)

Preheat oven to 350

Cook ground beef (or turkey) and chopped onion in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until meat is browned, stirring to crumble. Remove from heat; add cumin and next 5 ingredients. Stir well; set aside.

Arrange half of green chiles in an 11 X 7-inch baking dish; top with 1/2 cup of cheese. Spoon mounds of beef mixture onto cheese; spread gently, leaving a 1/4-inch border around edge of dish.

Top with corn. Arrange remaining green chiles over corn; top with 1/2 cup cheese.

Combine flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl; gradually add milk and next 3 ingredients, stirring with a whisk until blended. Pour over casserole.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until set; let stand 5 minutes. Garnish with onion slices and cilantro springs, if desired.

NOTE: Two 4.5 oz cans chopped green chiles can be substituted for whole chiles, if desired.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Roundup, week of August 22nd

What Happened Last Week?

We discussed how Filling Foods can be the top notch fuel to get you to your goals. You can't be successful if you're hungry and miserable all the time, and these foods can help!

Now that I lead 3 meetings a week our celebrations list is getting loooooonger: Karyn, Cathy, Bernadette and Kathy all received stars for five pounds lost; Arika got a 10 pound star and Geneen and Ben each received a 15 pound star. Virginia reached her 10% target and Leilah received the Stay and Succeed charm. Marc reached 50 pounds lost, and Sharon reached her goal weight!

So What's Coming Up?

Do you ever refer to Weight Watchers as "a diet?" If so, this meeting is for you! We're going to discuss how to ditch that mindset (and why you should) and how to avoid deprivation. You already know from last week that Filling Foods can help with that, but there are other ways we'll get into this week. Just say no to saying no!

Remember our picnic!

By now most of you have received the flier for the picnic coming up on August 29th. If you can make it, please be sure to RSVP to me. Preferably some way that leaves a trail (commenting on this entry would work, as would email or a Facebook message). If we have more than 50 people attending, a pricey permit seems to be required, so I want to make sure we're not in danger of getting in any trouble.

Thought for the Week

It's been said that some of the smartest people around would make lousy entrepreneurs. How can that be? The fact is, some people are so smart they can easily see all of the problems, roadblocks, and snafus that they'll need to overcome to succeed. They can think of all kinds of reasons why their idea won't work. This knowledge can overwhelm any thoughts of possibilities or dreams. When you think of your goals, do you focus on the positives of making it happen, or the negatives of potential barriers? To reach your goals, you've got to really want them. More importantly, you've got to really believe that you can do it. Think more about why you CAN make it happen instead of why you can't. No more excuses.

Weekly Recipe: Marta's Awesome Salad

Here's another recipe from the swap - this one didn't have copies to hand out in the meeting room, so this will be one you haven't seen, although you've heard about it if you have been to a Wednesday meeting lately!


1 large tomato (0.5 Points)
10 basil leaves (0 Points)
Trader Joe’s Mozzarellas in olive oil, (2 ea cheese balls) (3 Points)
Salt & Pepper to taste

4 points total

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Roundup, week of August 15th

What Happened Last Week?

All or nothing thinking can really damage your progress, so being flexible and forgiving is really important. Just because you can't do it perfectly doesn't mean you shouldn't attempt it at all. Remember the 80/20 rule - strive to be "on" 80% of the time and that's more than likely good enough!

This week we celebrated 5 pound stars for Phyllis, Cookie and Cris. Carol reached 20 pounds lost, and we gave 5% awards to both Eunice and Cris. Ramona took home a Stay and Succeed award for hanging in there for 16 weeks.

So What's Coming Up?

Understanding the science behind weight loss is really helpful to crafting a successful eating plan. Choosing foods that will keep you full for long periods of time is important for so many reasons (physical and mental) so we'll be discussing Filling Foods and other ways to keep hunger away.

I got my hands on an advance copy of the Weekly we'll be handing out, and if you don't attend a meeting this week (even if it's not one I lead!) you're really going to miss out. There are some great meal ideas and recipes in this one. Or maybe it's just because I'm hungry right now....

Summer Potluck Picnic!

If you haven't picked up a flier at a meeting, seen my event on Facebook, or saw the entry I posted here a few days ago...where have you been? Scroll back for details, but we've got a fun event coming up on Sunday, August 29th. I'd love to have you all out to share some healthy food and a day just hanging out getting to know each other when we're not sitting talking about food issues. I really hope you can make it!

Thought for the Week

Look closely at the present you are constructing: it should look like the future you are dreaming. ~ Alice Walker

Weekly Recipe: Two Links from Minna

Our recipe swap yesterday morning resulted in some pretty neat recipes that I'll be sharing over the next several days. The first I'll post are easy - they are links to recipes you can find in eTools.

Blue Cheese Chicken Burgers

You'll see that's a recipe that serves 4 and has 6 Points value. There's a note that if you switch to light hamburger buns (which I bet a lot of you would do) it reduces the Points to 5.

Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche

This is a recipe that I could have sworn I've added to my favorites, but in pulling it up I see that it isn't. I know I've made something strikingly similar, because this kind of thing is right up my alley. Food in a pie crust? Yes, please.

Thanks Minna, for sharing these with us!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Meeting!

Beginning this Sunday, I will now be leading the 11:30am meeting at our El Cajon center. Doors open at 11:00am for weigh-in. If you check the meeting finder at the Weight Watchers website you won't see my name attached to the meeting yet, but it will probably be updated soon.

Weight Watchers El Cajon Center
794 Arnele Ave
El Cajon, CA 92020

Now here's a summary of my meetings:

Sunday 11:30am - El Cajon
Monday 6:30pm - Lemon Grove
Wednesday 6:30am - Clairemont
Thursday 6:30pm - Clairemont (receptionist duties if attendance permits)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You're Invited!

Click to embiggen:

You can pick up a flier in any of my meetings in the next few weeks. If you're reading this and you haven't been to a meeting in awhile, you are still absolutely welcome! Anyone who is interested in having some healthy food under the sun is invited to this shindig.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Roundup, week of August 8th

What Happened Last Week?

Out of control eating can be caused by many things. If you can dig down beneath the surface, you can get at the heart of the matter. If you know what's causing it, you can find other ways to solve it. Was it really because you were hungry? Probably not!

We celebrated five pound stars for Arika and Jen, a 15 pound star for Virginia and William, Marc got his 45 pound star, and Mark reached 50 pounds lost. Looks like it was a productive week for the men this time!

So What's Coming Up?

You'll do much better at achieving your goals if you set them realistically. That means being flexible and forgiving of yourself as well. We'll talk about some successful habits that will ensure you don't get discouraged and forget about those great goals you've set.

Wednesday - don't forget we're doing a recipe swap this week. Bring in your favorite recipe to share. You don't need to make copies for everyone, but at least bring one for me so I can repost it here later.

Make sure you're at the meeting this week to get the details of my upcoming Picnic Potluck! I'm hoping we'll have a fun afternoon of healthy eating and mingling. Be sure to pick up a flier.

Thought for the Week

Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. - Christian D. Larson

Weekly Recipe: Quick Couscous Pilaf with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I found this recipe in a Vegetarian Times cookbook. I'm going to use real onion and garlic instead of dehydrated, and I'll probably serve it over some wilted greens.

8/5/2010 Edit: this gnawed at me all night. Two and a half cups of couscous for two servings? Sounds too good to be true. So I built the recipe to be sure, and yeah, the recipe as originally written is over 800 calories per serving if you divide it into two servings. I have updated the information below.

Quick Couscous Pilaf with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Serves 8 (originally this said it serves 2)

6 sun-dried tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup dehydrated onion
1/4 Tbsp dehydrated garlic
6 low-sodium vegetable boullion cubes
6 cups water
2 1/2 cups instant couscous
Dash turmeric
Dash paprika, for garnish

Bring to a boil the sun-dried tomatoes, onion, garlic, boullion and water. Stir in the couscous and turmeric. Return to a simmer; then remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle paprika on top.

Original Incorrect Information:Per serving: 187 calories, 7g protein, 0.2g fat, 21g carbohydrates, 0mg cholesterol, 81mg sodium, 7g fiber

Revised Information:Per serving: 224 calories, 7g protein, 0.3g fat, 47g carbohydrates, 0mg cholesterol, 766mg sodium, 3g fiber

I have no idea what the folks at Vegetarian Times were thinking. And now I'm afraid to use anything else in that cookbook without independently verifying it first. That sucks!